Castanospermum A.Cunn.

Greek castanon — chestnut tree, sperma — seed, referring to the similarity of the seed to a chestnut.

Trees. Leaves alternate, odd-pinnate; stipules small and soon shed. Flowers in axillary clusters, mostly on old wood. Calyx tubular, with broad blunt teeth. Standard bent back, larger than the other petals. Stamens free, projecting beyond the petals. Ovary stalked and with several ovules. Fruit pod large and woody but spongy inside, sometimes constricted slightly between the few seeds.

Tree of warm rainforest, occasionally naturalised, cultivated for its attractive flowers and shade. Seeds poisonous.

1 species from Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Australia.


Chemical extracts are being researched for their possible useful properties in the fight against AIDS. A valuable timber tree.

Evergreen trees with leaves odd-pinnate; flowers red to orange.

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Fabaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Rosanae
order      Fabales
family       Fabaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa