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Trees or shrubs. Leaves paripinnate, 2-15-ju- gate, new ones lax and often bright pink or purplish. Stipules often foliaceous, caducous. Inflorescences terminal or axillary, mostly nodding capitate; bracts usually large and coloured, caducous; bracteoles coloured, conspicuous, connate into a bilobed tube enclosing the flower in bud, persistent beyond anthesis. Flowers coloured, showy, bisexual. Petals 4 (or 5), clawed, slightly unequal, zygomorphic, imbricate. Stamens 10-15, connate at the base or into a short tube, rarely free. Ovary stipitate, the stipe adnate to hypanthium, many-ovuled; style filiform, stigma capitate. Seeds exalbuminous, non-arillate.


Asia-Tropical: Jawa (Jawa present); Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia present); Philippines (Philippines present); Sumatera (Sumatera present), Papua New Guinea present, Southern America, tropical America present
Species 25-30, tropical America and West Indies. Several of the species have been widely cultivated in the tropics on acount of their beautiful flowers. About 4 or 5 species in cultivation in limited regions of Malesia (Sumatra, Malay Peninsula, Java, Philippines and Papua New Guinea). See


Verdcourt and A.C. Smith remarked that in the absence of a recent revision of Brownea, the identities of the widely cultivated species of this genus are difficult and confused; cultivated hybrids further complicate identification and it is often not possible to accurately name the plants.

The following four species are more often reported in literature and collected from cultivated trees in limited regions of Malesia.


Watson & Dallwitz 1983: Gen. Leg.-Caesalp.: 15.
Cowan & Polhill 1981 – In: Polhill & Raven, Adv. Leg. Syst. 1: 134