Monographs Details: Cassia fasciculata var. brachiata (Pollard) Pullen ex Isely
Authority: Isley, Duane. 1975. Leguminosae of the United States: II. Subfamily Caesalpinioideae. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 25 (2): 1-228.
Family:Caesalpiniaceae
Description:Distribution and Ecology - Primarily peninsular Florida, slightly into Georgia, apparently not extending into the Keys. Pinelands, turkey oak, palmetto-oak, coastal dunes; disturbed and ruderal areas: old fields, vacant lots, thickets, roadsides; common. July-Sept.-(-Nov.), earlier s.

Discussion:Chamaecrista brachiata Poll. (1902) Cassia brachiata (Poll.) Macbride (1919) Var. brachiata is given taxonomic rank because it is the predominant, usually distinctive aspect of the species in Florida. Unfortunately, any simple interpretation is fraught with inconsistency. Var. brachiata is accompanied in the northern part of its range by clinically decreasing (north to south, and primarily of coastal counties) var. fasciculata as well as intermediates, and contradicts the convenience thesis of largely allopatric varieties. Consistency in treatment might be best served were the former considered a regional variant of var. fasciculata but I believe the biological situation to be other than that of the western outliers of the species, and “ideal” brachiata is marked by several correlated characters. I initially took up (and so annotated) var. brachiata on the basis of correlated glabrate condition with large elliptic petiolar glands. This decision left a considerable residium with either the large glands and varying degrees of puberulence or with the smaller, circular var.fasciculata type glands associated with glabrate stems and leaves. These alternative character combinations and transition combinations were regarded as intermediates with var. fasciculata. Plotted, they produced the situation shown in Map 31, the mongrel horde, not swamping the racial ideals, but common. However, the interior Florida populations, though doubtless influenced by introgression from var. fasciculata tend to be of a type: large and branching to almost subshrubby, and contrasting with the smaller more frequently strict var. fasciculata. I concluded that if var. brachiata were recognized at any level, it would be reasonable and pragmatically most satisfactory to treat any with strong brachiata influence (i.e., robust plants with large glands and (or) of glabrate condition) as that variety. The taxon is thus defined in the key, and the resulting distributional picture is as Map 32. This is, of course, an arbitrary solution but it is believed to reflect biological reality. Var. brachiata also slightly combines with phenotypes with pubescent leaflets or hirsute stems or both, this blending detailed by Pullen (1963). Since these characters reach var. brachiata primarily in diluted form in the Florida Panhandle, recombinants are not tabulated in Map 32. See C. deeringiana concerning confusion between it and C. fasciculata var. brachiata.
Distribution:United States of America North America|