Caesalpinia sappan L

[After A Caesalpini, 1519-1603, an Italian physician and a botanist; and from Tamil, shappangam = sappan wood]

Synonymy: Caesalpinia minutiflora Elmer.

Common names: Sappan wood; bakkum wood; bois de sappan (French); sepang (Malay); to moc, cay vang (Vietnamese); tainniga (Burmese); sbeng (Cambodian); su fang mu (Chinese); palo de Brazil (Spanish); bakam (Arabic); pattanga (Sanskrit).

Physical description: It is a prickly treelet found in South China, Taiwan, India, Malaysia, and Vietnam. The wood is red. Leaves: bipinnate and stipulate. The pinnae are opposite and show 10-12 pairs of folioles which are 1.2 cm long and marked with about 10-15 pairs of secondary nerves. The blade is elliptic and emarginated at the apex. The flowers are arranged in terminal panicles. The corolla comprises of 5 petals which are yellow and emarginated at the apex. The andrecium comprises of 10 pubescent stamens. The fruits are coriaceous, clog-shaped, 6cm-9cm and caudate (Fig. 158).

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