Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Caesalpinia major (Medik.) Dandy & Exell

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Flower. © R.L. Barrett
Leaves and inflorescence. © R.L. Barrett
Fruit. © R.L. Barrett
Fruit. © R.L. Barrett
Habit and leaves. © R.L. Barrett
Seed. © R.L. Barrett
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO

Dandy, J.E. & Exell, A.W. (1938) The Journal of Botany 76 : 180.

Common name

Yellow Nicker; Hawaii Pearls


Vine stem diameters to 4 cm recorded. Blaze odour may resemble that of green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris).


Leaflet blades about 3-5 x 2-3 cm, leaflet stalks about 1 mm long. Underside of the leaflet blades clothed in short pale yellowish hairs. Twigs and leaves often without spines. Stipules linear, about 1-2 mm long.


Inflorescence about 10-50 cm long. Pedicels about 6-12 mm long. Sepals about 9-12 mm long. Petals obovate, about 12-15 mm long. Stamens about 8-12 mm long, anthers about 1.4-1.8 mm long. Ovary about 7 mm long. Ovules 4 per ovary.


Fruits about 8-13 x 4-6 cm, base acute, apex obtuse, surface clothed in spines about 5-10 mm long. Style persistent at the apex as a beak about 11 mm long. Seeds 2-4 per pod, each seed about 15-25 mm diam., testa yellow to brown or greenish grey.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 250 m. Grows in vine thicket. Also found in the Americas, Madagascar, Asia, Malesia and the Pacific islands.

Natural History & Notes

This species may have medicinal properties.

Used in the manufacture of necklaces.

Bonduc majus Medik., Theod. Spec. : 43(1786), Type: Moluccas, Rumphius, Herb. Amboin. 5: t. 48 (1747); lecto: the plate. Caesalpinia broomensis Hochr., Candollea : 385(1925), Type: Western Australia, Broome, 4 feb. 1905, B. P. G. Hochreutiner 2841; holo: G(?).
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