Trees or shrubs, armed; branches slender, often pendent. Leaves crowded on short shoots, spiral, bipinnate, 2 (4, or 6) opposite pinnae, the rachis of pinnae elongate, flattened, phyllodial. Stipules spinescent, persistent or caducous. Inflorescences of racemose units, crowded on short shoots; bracts and bracteoles absent or absent at anthesis. Flowers perfect, showy, fragrant. Petals 5, slightly zygomorphic or very zygomorphic, imbricate, clawed. Stamens 10, more or less equal or unequal in length, free, fertile; anthers introrsely or longitudinally dehiscent. Ovary stipitate, free, 6-15-ovuled; style filiform; stigma minute. Seeds albuminous.
Asia-Tropical: tropical and subtropical America and S Africa:
Monotypic or consisting of 11-15 species, depending on the interpretation of generic limits; native of tropical and subtropical America and S Africa. One species cultivated in Malesia.
For recent reviews about the generic delimitation and bibliography of Parkinsonia, see the papers by e.g. Isely , Robertson & Lee , and Gunn . The generic description given above applies mainly or only to Parkinsonia aculeata.