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Herbs or (in Malesian region) rarely small trees. Leaves paripinnate. Flowers yellow to red. Sepals 5. Petals 5 Stamens 10 to 5 fertile; filaments straight; anther-thecae ciliolate along the sutures, dehiscing terminally by slit or pore. Seeds with either smooth or pitted seedcoat, always exareolate.


Americas present, tropical Asia present
About 270 species worldwide; 240 species native to the Americas; few in tropical Asia.


In the circumscription of the genus we are following the concept of Irwin & Barneby in their monograph of the American Cassiinae, Mem. N.Y. Bot. Gard. 35 (1982) (). We are, however, of a different opinion concerning the species delimitation in the section Chamaecrista. Here we find that the Asian material justifies the maintenance of the species Chamaecrista mimosoides, C. leschenaultiana, and C. pumila. The whole group, however, needs a renewed study.


de Wit 1956 – In: Webbia: 278.
Irwin & Barneby 1982 – In: Mem. N.Y. Bot. Gard.: 636
Irwin & Barneby 1981 – In: Polhill & Raven, Adv. Leg. Syst. 1: 106
Benth. 1871 – In: Trans. Linn. Soc. Lond.: 513, 558
Irwin & Barneby 1976 – In: Brittonia: 28
Watson & Dallwitz 1983: Gen. Leg.-Caesalp.: 17