Caesalpinia coriaria

Botanical Name:: Caesalpinia coriaria Willd
Family : Fabaceae – Pea family /Leguminosai, Caesalpinioideae.
Genus  : Caesalpinia L. – nicker
Species : Caesalpinia coriaria (Jacq.) Willd. – divi divi
Order : Fabales
Kingdom :   Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom :  Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision:   Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division :   Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class :  Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Synonyms: Caesalpinia coriaria (Jacq.) Willd.
Common Names: Tauribeej, Divi-divi, Liby-liby, American Sumach,Tamil – Kotivelamaram

Habitat :Caesalpinia coriaria is a leguminous tree or large shrub native to the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and northern South America.The tree is also the native tree to Aruba.

Description :
They rarely reach their maximum height of 9 m (30 ft) because their growth is contorted by the weather of the exposed coastal sites where they often grow. In other environments it grows into a low dome shape with a clear sub canopy space. Leaves are bipinnate, with 5-10 pairs of pinnae, each pinna with 15-25 pairs of leaflets; the individual leaflets are 7 mm long and 2 mm broad. The fruit is a twisted pod 5 cm (2.0 in) long. Aruba is where the Divi-divi tree is most common.
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The Divi-divi is one of the more well known species of Cæsalpinia; it is the national tree of Curaçao. It is also very common and popular on Aruba, where it is alternatively known as watapana. On these islands this tree is never straight because of the trade winds.

This is the national tree of Curacao. In sheltered locations, the tree is symmetrical with a spreading mounded top as shown in the illustration. Exposed to the prevailing winds, however, it leans away from the wind, and its top, growing mostly to the lee side, appears to be blown out horizontally in the wind. In this characteristic it can be confused with Crescentia cujete (calabash tree) which may do the same. The pods are a rich source of tannin. As a tree it grows to approximately 30 feet tall.

Leaves alternate, 2x even-pinnate; leaflets numerous, regularly nearly touching to overlapping; each less than 1/2″ long. The leaf is as fine as the Sweet acacia. Flowers are small, in terminal clusters, white or yellow, pea-like, inconspicuous, very fragrant and attractive to bees. Fruit are small curved, dished, or twisted flat pod with rounded ends, about 1 in. wide; often little longer than wide. The trunk and branches are gnarled, with gray bark.

Medicinal Uses:
The Divi-divi pods are used to extract tannins for the leather production.

Click to see
*Anti-bacterial activity of Caesalpinia coriaria (Jacq.) Willd.
against plant pathogenic Xanthomonas pathovars: an ecofriendly
approach:

*Antibacterial Evaluation of Some Plant Extracts Against Some Human Pathogenic Bacteria

Other Uses: Very good for bonsai ->

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divi-divi
http://www.bonsai-bci.com/species/dividivi.html
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CACO28
http://www.eol.org/pages/703536
http://plants.usda.gov/java/largeImage?imageID=caco28_001_ahp.tif

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