Monographs Details: Biancaea sepiaria (Roxb.) Tod.
Authority: Britton, Nathaniel L. Flora Borinqueña.
Description:Species Description - Native of tropical Asia, this very prickly, woody vine, or vine-like shrub has become extensively naturalized in the West Indies as far south as Grenada, and is frequent in Porto Rico thickets at lower and middle elevations, sometimes difficult to penetrate, becoming attached to clothing, and contact may produce painful scratches or wounds; the English popular name cited above is well chosen; the Spanish name refers to its use for hedges.
Biancaea, dedicated, by the Italian botanist Agustino Todaro, to Giuseppe Bianca, a student of the Sicilian flora, consists of a few prickly vines, shrubs and small trees, natives of the Old World tropics; they have twice compound leaves and clustered, deflexed, yellow or yellowish flowers. The calyx has a broadly urn-shaped tube, and 5, petal-like segments which fall away early. There are 5, short-clawed petals, and 10, densely woolly, separate stamens. The stalkless ovary contains several ovules, and the slender style is topped by a somewhat flattened stigma. The pod is flat, several times longer than wide.
Biancaea sepiaria (used for hedges) is usually much branched, and may become 3 meters high, the slender branches prickly, and finely hairy. The leaves are from 10 to 50 centimeters long, with from 4 to 10 pairs of primary, short-stalked divisions; there are from 7 to 12 pairs of thin, oblong, blunt or notched leaflets from 8 to 20 millimeters long. The flowers are commonly numerous in elongated, hairy clusters, characteristically deflexed, on stalks from 1.5 to 3 centimeters long; the finely hairy calyx is about 1.5 centimeters long, the nearly round petals and the stamens about as long. The pod is oblong, smooth, unarmed, abruptly long-beaked, from 5 to 9 centimeters long, about 2 centimeters wide, and contains from 5 to 8, oblong, black and varigated seeds nearly 1 centimeter long.
Discussion:Zarza de cercas
Caesalpinia sepiaria Roxburgh, Hortus Bengalensis 32. 1814.
Biancaea sepiaria Todaro, Hortus Botanicus Panormitanus 3. 1876.