Crataeva adansonii DC., Prodr. 1.: 243. 1824. J. Elffers et al, Fl. Trop. East Africa, 20. 1964; Jacobs in Blumea, 12(2) : 198. 1964.
Unarmed, small deciduous tree, 6-15 m tall, glabrous. Leaves 3-foliolate, petiolate; leaflet shortly petiolulate, elliptic, elliptic-lanceolate, ovate-lanceolate, more or less oblique, acuminate, narrowed towards the base, 5-12 cm long, (1-) 2.5-6 cm broad, herbaceous to subcoriaceous, often turning brownish when dry; petiole (2.5-) 4-8 cm long. Inflorescence-axis 2-5 (-7) cm long, often extending into a leafy extension after flowering. Flowers 3.-6 cm across, subirregular, greenish-white turning yellowish after opening, appearing before or just after the flush of new leaves, pedicellate, ebracteate; pedicels 2-4 cm long. Sepals about 4-5 mm long, ovate-deltoid, greenish-white, distant. Petals ovate, or suborbicular, reticula¬tely veined, eventually 20-30 mm long, 10-17 mm wide, (incl. 4-8 mm long claw) ; the 2 adaxial ones generally somewhat larger. Stamens usually 20-25, exceeding the petals (3-5 cm long), inserted at base of the gynophore. Gynophore generally 3-5 cm long, slender, thickened in fruit, often deciduous inhibiting the development of fruit. Fruit globose, 3-5 cm in diam., yellowish; seeds reniform, about 3-4 mm in diam., smooth, brown.
Type: Africa, Senegal, Adanson (P).
It is distinguished from Crataeva religiosa Forst. f. by its herbaceous, more or less coriaceous leaflets turning brownish when dry (not thin papery and greenish) and smaller fruits. The two have fewer (less than 10) pairs of nerves on their leaflets, which distinguishes them from Crataeva nurvala Ham. (which usually has more than 10 pairs of nerves). Also, the fruit is ovoid in Crataeva nurvala.