Monographs Details: Cassia coriacea Bong. ex Benth.
Authors:Howard S. Irwin, Rupert C. Barneby
Authority: Irwin, Howard S. & Barneby, Rupert C. 1978. Monographic studies in Cassia (Leguminosae, Caesalpinioideae). III. Sections Absus and Grimaldia. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 30: 1-300.
Description:Species Description - Dwarf or diminutive, humifusely procumbent subshrubs, fully glabrous except for sometimes minutely ciliolate stipules and sepals, the few slender simple angular purplish stems radiating from a xylopodium, 1-3 dm, sparsely and simply leafy, incurved and floriferous toward apex, the foliage coriaceous subconcolorous glaucescent, the lfts little differentiated dorsoventrally, subpalmately veined. Stipules erect, firm, subulate or triangular, acute, 1-2.5 mm, persistent. Lvs unilaterally erect and ascending from the humifuse stems, petioled, 3-7 cm, those near middle of stem largest; pulvinus 1-1.5 mm, scarcely dilated but wrinkled when dry; petiole 6-20 mm, 0.7-1.2 mm diam, deeply grooved ventrally and charged near or well above middle with a sessile, saucer-shaped gland ±0.8-1.2 mm diam; rachis of 4-foliolate lvs up to 8-20 mm, often charged with a second gland; lfts 1-2 pairs, ascending, turned half face to face on very short wrinkled pulvinule wider than long, the distal pair, when present, slightly larger, in outline subsymmetrically obovate to broadly oblanceolate, broadly obtuse but sometimes minutely apiculate, 1.7-4.3 x 0.7-2.5 cm, at base subsymmetrically rounded, the plane margin entire, the blades coriaceous, above olivaceous, beneath pinkish-tinged and glaucescent, palmately 5-nerved from the pulvinus, the midrib giving rise near and above middle to 1-3 pairs of weak secondary veins, the inner pair of lateral primaries ascending well above middle of blade, these all prominulous both sides but slightly more elevated dorsally, the tertiary venation faint, not at all reticulate. Inflorescence arising from axils of 1-3 uppermost, often reduced lvs, subcorymbosely racemose, the 1-4-flowered axis and peduncle together 1-2.5 cm, incurved to vertical, shorter than the pedicels, the axis charged between pedicels with a few sessile saucer-shaped glands; bracts subulate to lance-acuminate, 1.5-3 mm, persistent; pedicels flexuous, narrowly ribbonlike, 3-5 cm long, bracteolate 3-25 mm below calyx; bracteoles resembling bracts, hardly smaller; buds ovoid, apiculate, glabrous or almost so; sepals (probably reddish) rather firm, elliptic, 8-10 x 3-4 mm, the outer acute, the inner obtuse; petals apparently yellow, at full anthesis widely expanding, four subequally flabellate-cuneate to oblanceolate, up to 14-20 x 5.5-11 mm, the fourth oblique, narrower, twisted; ovary glabrous. Pod unknown.

Distribution and Ecology - Stony campo, probably near 1000 m, known only from Riedel's two collections from s.-centr. Sa. do Espinhapo near 18° 30'—19° S (Serra do Frio; Parauna, distr. Diamantina), Minas Gerais. — Fl. XII—II.


A rare and singular little cassia, functionally herbaceous although subshrubby insofar as the slender procumbent stems die back annually to a knotty xylopodium. In sect Absus it is unique in the syndrome of humble stature with 1-2 pairs of palmately veined coriaceous glabrous leaflets and shortly few-flowered racemes of flexuously long-pedicelled flowers. The likeness in habit and few-flowered raceme to some members of sect. Chamaecrista was noted by Bentham (1871, 1.c.); but all of these differ in their distichous foliage. The only close relative, as Bentham recognized, is the erect shrubby C. cytisoides, some varieties of which have quite similar leaves and petiolar glands.

Distribution:Minas Gerais Brazil South America| Brazil South America|

Narratives:Cassia coriacea