Flora of the Southeastern United States
2022 Edition

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Keyed in multiple places:

Key to Fabaceae, Key B: woody legumes (trees, shrubs, or woody vines) with bipinnately compound leaves

1 Leaves variously modified from strict 2-even-pinnateness, either with 1) a mixture (on a tree) of 1-even-pinnate and 2-even-pinnate leaves, and/or 2) the pinnae or leaflets often subopposite or fully alternate, and/or 3) with an odd number of pinnae per leaf (the tip of the rachis with a pair of lateral pinnae and a terminal pinna, but the leaflets of the pinnae still in opposite pairs), and/or 4) the basal pair of pinnae evolutionarily replaced by a single pair of leaflets larger than the other leaflets.
..2 Flowers small, inconspicuous, in catkin like-racemes or racemes of racemes; perianth greenish-white or greenish-yellow, with a cylindrical hypanthium to 10 mm long and shorter perianth lobes; flowers mostly unisexual; large trees; fruits woody and indehiscent at maturity, 1-5 cm wide[ collectively widespread in our region, but absent from s. FL and s. TX].
....3 Leaves characteristically a mixture (on a tree) of 1-even-pinnate (mainly on spurs) and 2-even-pinnate (mainly on new growth), the pinnae and the leaflets strictly opposite or subopposite; leaflets 1.5-4 cm long, acute to rounded at the apex; trunks with simple, trident, or multiply branched thorns to 20 cm long (or unarmed)
....3 Leaves all 2-even-pinnate, the basalmost "pinna pair" usually replaced by a pair of leaflets larger than the others, the pinnae and the leaflets often 'straying' to subopposite or fully alternate arrangement (some pinnae appearing odd-pinnate); leaflets 3-6 cm long, acuminate at the apex; trunks unarmed
..2 Flowers either with conspicuous petals or aggregated into spikes or spherical heads with showy stamens; petals either (Caesalpinoids) yellow, orange, red, or (Mimosoids) the tubular perianth whorls less conspicuous than the stamens, these yellow to orange; flowers bisexual; small shrubs, shrubs, small or medium trees, or large trees (if large trees, then of tropical parts of our region); fruits papery or chartaceous (rarely woody), often < 2 cm wide; [collectively widespread, including of s. FL and s. TX].
......4 Leaves with pinnae and leaflets mostly subopposite or fully alternate; [exotic, s. FL]; [Mimosoid]
......4 Leaves with an odd number of pinnae per leaf (the tip of the rachis with a pair of lateral pinnae and a terminal pinna), but the leaflets in opposite pairs; [native or exotic, TX and OK]; [Caesalpinoid].
........5 Shrub or small tree, 5-50 dm tall; sepals ovate; leaflets not gladular, or with glands only along the leaflet margin
........5 Sprawling shrub, less than 6 dm tall; sepals linear; leaflets glandular punctate across the lower surface (these orange in life, drying black)
1 Leaves strictly 2-even-pinnate (with pinna pairs borne opposite one another and no pinna terminal on the rachis, and with leaflets also born in opposite pairs).
..........6 Pinna pairs 1-6 (-7) per leaf; leaflets 4-ca. 250 per leaf.
............ 7 Leaflets 1.5-14 mm long.
............ ..8 Glands absent on petioles and rachises.
............ ....9 Dwarf shrub, 1-6 dm tall; branches unarmed.
............ ....9 Shrub, small tree, or scrambling liana; branches armed with straight nodal spines or internodal catclaw prickles.
............ ......10 Branches armed with paired, straight, nodal spines, these simple or 3-branched; branches and larger stems green, photsynthetic; flowers caesalpinoid, 2-2.5 cm in diameter.
............ ......10 Branches armed with catclaw prickles scattered along internodes; branches and stems brown; flowers caesalpinoid or mimosoid.
............ ........11 Scrambling liana; flowers caesalpinoid, 1.5-2 cm across
............ ........11 Shrub; flowers mimosoid, aggregated into spherical inflorescences 9-15 mm in diameter
............ ..8 Glands (stalked, columnar, or domed) 1 or more on petioles or rachises, on the petiole or at rachis nodes.
............ ..........12 Branches unarmed.
............ ............ 13 Stamens connate basally into a tube; spherical inflorescences whitish or cream, 15-23 mm in diameter
............ ............ 13 Stamens free; spherical inflorescences yellow, 6-8 mm in diameter
............ ..........12 Branches armed with straight nodal spines or internodal catclaw prickles.
............ ............ ..14 Branches armed with catclaw prickles scattered along internodes.
............ ............ ..14 Branches armed with paired, straight, nodal spines.
............ ............ ....15 Leaflet pairs 2-6 per pinna; inflorescences cylindrical.
............ ............ ......16 Petiolar/rachis glands at nodes of the rachis, short-columnar; stamens connate basally into a tube
............ ............ ......16 Petiolar/rachis gland on the petiole; stamens free
............ ............ ....15 Leaflet pairs 6-25 per pinna; inflorescences spherical (or cylindrical in Prosopis laevigata).
............ ............ ........17 Inflorescences cylindrical; leaflet pairs 15-25 per pinna
............ ............ ........17 Inflorescences spherical; leaflet pairs 6-20 per pinna.
............ ............ ..........18 Dwarf shrub; pinna pair 1 per leaf; leaflet pairs 6-11 per pinna; fruit spirally twisted into a cylinder
............ ............ ..........18 Shrub or small tree; pinna pairs 2-5 (-6) per leaf; leaflet pairs 9-20 per pinna; fruit flat, straight.
............ ............ ............ 19 Spherical inflorescences 15-23 mm in diameter; stamens connate basally into a tube; fruits flat, about 1 cm wide, 2-4 mm thick
............ ............ ............ 19 Spherical inflorescences 6-13 mm in diameter; stamens free; fruits turgid, cylindrical, about 1 cm in diameter (wide and thick)
............ 7 Leaflets 10-60 mm long (at least the larger leaflets on a plant > 14 mm long).
............ ............ ............ ..20 Glands absent on petioles and rachises.
............ ............ ............ ....21 Pinna pairs 1 per leaf; branches unarmed; flowers red-pink, mimosoid, aggregated into spherical inflorescences 5-7 cm in diameter
............ ............ ............ ....21 Pinna pairs 2-5 per leaf; branches armed with catclaw prickles scattered along internodes; flowers yellow to orange, caesalpinoid, each flower 0.7-2 cm across.
............ ............ ............ ......22 Liana climbing and sparawling over other vegetation; flowers 0.7-1 cm across
............ ............ ............ ......22 Shrub or small tree; flowers 1.8-2 cm across
............ ............ ............ ..20 Glands (stalked, columnar, or domed) 1 or more on petioles or rachises, on the petiole or at rachis nodes.
............ ............ ............ ........23 Leaflet pair 1 per pinna
............ ............ ............ ........23 Leaflet pairs 3-14 per pinna
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Branches usually armed with paired, straight, nodal spines; inflorescences cylindrical; stamens 10
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Branches unarmed; inflorescences spherical; stamens many.
............ ............ ............ ............ 25 Stamens free
............ ............ ............ ............ 25 Stamens connate basally into a tube.
............ ............ ............ ............ ..26 Petiolar gland near base of petiole; spherical inflorescences either 0.9-1.7 cm in diameter, or 5-6 cm in diameter
............ ............ ............ ............ ..26 Petiolar gland closer to first pinna pair than to petiole base; spherical inflorescences 2-2.6 cm in diameter
..........6 Pinna pairs 4-25 per leaf (at least the larger leaves on a plant with > 6 pinna pairs); leaflets 150-3000 per leaf.
............ ............ ............ ............ ....27 Leaflets 10-40 mm long, at least the larger on a leaf > 15 mm long.
............ ............ ............ ............ ......28 Leaf rachis eglandular; flowers caesalpinoid, each yellow-orange and 3-4 cm across
............ ............ ............ ............ ......28 Leaf rachis with cupular glands at nodes; flowers mimosoid, pink, aggregated into a spherical head 5-6 cm in diameter
............ ............ ............ ............ ....27 Leaflets 1-15 mm long.
............ ............ ............ ............ ........29 Glands absent on petioles and rachises.
............ ............ ............ ............ ..........30 Branches armed with catclaw prickles scattered along internodes; shrub; flowers mimosoid, white, cream, or pink, aggregated into spherical heads 0.9-2 cm in diameter.
............ ............ ............ ............ ..........30 Branches unarmed; tree; flowers caesalpinoid, each yellow and 2-3.5 cm across
............ ............ ............ ............ ........29 Glands (stalked, columnar, or domed) or nonglandular spheroid projections 1 or more on petioles or rachises, on the petiole or at rachis nodes.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 31 Branches unarmed.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..32 Fruits 30-60 cm long, woody, persistent and indehiscent on the tree; flowers caesalpinoid, scarlet and yellow, 8-10 cm across; rachis with spheroidal projections at the nodes; petiole lacking glands
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..32 Fruits < 20 cm long, papery, coriaceous, or woody; flowers mimosoid, white, cream, pink, or pale yellow, aggregated into spherical heads 1-6 cm in diameter; rachis lacking spheroidal projections; petiole bearing domed or saucer-shaped glands along the petiole or at the 1st pair of pinnae.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....33 Spherical heads white, cream, or pale yellow, 0.5-2.2 cm in diameter.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......34 Fruits strongly coiled; stamens many; tree
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......34 Fruits strait or slightly curved; stamens 10; tree or shrub.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........35 Stipules persistent and evident, 3-10 mm long; fruits 5.5-8.5 cm long, 2-5 mm wide
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........35 Stipules caducous; fruits 8-20 cm long, 10-20 mm wide
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 31 Branches variously armed, with nodal spines, thorn spurs, or catclaw prickles scattered along internodes.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........36 Branches armed with catclaw prickles scattered along the internodes
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........36 Branches armed either with woody thorn spurs or paired nodal spines.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 37 Branches armed with stout thorn spurs (these simple or branched); inflorescences cylindrical, bicolored, the base of pink or whitish staminodes, the tip of yellow stamens; fruits flattened, but also curved and contorted
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 37 Branches armed with paired nodal spines, these either narrow and needle-like or massive, hollow, and with an entrance hole; fruits turgid, straight or slightly curved

Key to Albizia

1 Pinnae 4-12 (-20) pairs; leaflets 6-15 mm long; bark of mature trees smoothish, with small wart-like bumps
1 Pinnae 2-4 pairs; leaflets 15-30 mm long; bark of mature trees rough, with plates.
..2 Leaflets 4-8 pairs per pinna; [of FL]
..2 Leaflets 5-14 pairs per pinna; [of c. NC]