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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Caesalpinia

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I > Fabales > Family: Fabaceae > Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae

About 200 species, found in warm regions worldwide, with seven species native to southern Africa, four species naturalised, and a further six species cultivated in the region. 

Species native to southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI), Flora of Zimbabwe and Flora of Mozambique.

Caesalpinia bonduc (Bonduc, Nicker bean)  
Caesalpinia bracteata  
Caesalpinia decapetala

Recorded from Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Caesalpinia merxmuellerana  
Caesalpinia pearsonii  
Caesalpinia rostrata  
Caesalpinia rubra  

Species naturalised in southern Africa

 List from Plants of southern Africa (POSA) - an online checklist (SANBI).

Caesalpinia decapetala (Mysore thorn)

Native to tropical Asia.


Caesalpinia gilliesii (Bird of Paradise Flower, Mal de ojo)

Native to Argentina and Uruguay.

Caesalpinia pulcherrima (Barbados pride, Peacock flower)

Native to the West Indies.

Caesalpinia spinosa (Algarroba)

Native from Venezuela to Chile.


Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Caesalpinia coriaria (Divi-divi, Cascalote)

Native from Mexico to Venezuela.


Caesalpinia echinata (Brazilwood)

Native to Brazil.


Caesalpinia ferrea (Leopard tree, Brazilian ironwood)

Native to Brazil.


Caesalpinia pauciflora

Native to the southern USA and the West Indies.


Caesalpinia peltophoroides

Native to Brazil.


Caesalpinia spicata

Native to India.



  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.