Haematoxylum Linn., Sp. Pl. 384. 1753. Gen. Pl. ed. 5. 18I. 1754; Hutch., Gen. Fl. Pl. 1: 236. 1964.
Large shrub or tree, wood coloured. Leaves paripinnate or bipinnate. Leaflets in few pairs, obovate; stipules either small and deciduous or spiny. Inflorescence axillary raceme. Bract minute, bracteoles absent or caducous. Calyx segments 5, subequal, imbricate. Petals 5, yellow, imbricate. Stamens 10, free, filaments hairy at the base, anthers uniform. Ovary shortly stipitate, 2-3 ovuled, style filiform, stigma minute, terminal. Fruit lanceolate, membranous, dehiscent, 2-3 seeded. Seeds oblong, cotyledons bilobed.
A genus with 3 species, distributed in Mexico, Tropical America, West Indies and S. Africa.
The generic name Haematoxylon Linn., almost universally adopted should be replaced with Haematoxylum Linn. Linnaeus had described the genus Haema¬toxylon in Syst. ed. 1. 1735. Subsequently he changed the spellings in 1737 (Gen. Pl. ed. 1: 342) to Haematoxylum. In Species Plantarum (1753) as well as in Genera Plantarum (ed. 5: 181. 1754) he has maintained Haematoxylum. In the light of Art. 73 (vide examples) Haematoxylum is the correct name, because since 1753 (Sp. P1.) Linnaeus seems to have uniformly maintained this spelling and earlier form of the name, even though published by Linnaeus, is not relevant from nomenclatural point of view (Art. 13).