Hymenaea cangaceira R.B.Pinto, Mansano & A.M.G.Azevedo

First published in Kew Bull. 72(3)-42: 2 (2017)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is Brazil (Ceará). It grows primarily in the seasonally dry tropical biome.


Extinction risk predictions for the world's flowering plants to support their conservation (2024). Bachman, S.P., Brown, M.J.M., Leão, T.C.C., Lughadha, E.N., Walker, B.E. https://nph.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/nph.19592

Predicted extinction risk: threatened. Confidence: confident

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/177800709/177800713

NT - near threatened

Barbosa Pinto R et al. 2017. On the “Cangaço” route: a new species of Hymenaea (Leguminosae) from the Brazilian Caatinga. Kew Bulletin 72:42. DOI 10.1007/S12225-017-9713-6

Type: Brazil, Ceara, Brejo Santo, J. G. Carvalho-Sobrinho et al. 1930 (holotype HVASF!; isotype HUEFS!).
Morphology General Habit
Trees to c. 10 m, rarely taller; bark striate, light to dark brown, with lenticels; exudate not observed; branch- lets terete in cross section, 5 - 9 mm thick, glabrescent
Morphology Leaves Stipules
Stipules caducous
Morphology Leaves Petiole
Petioles terete, basally and apically enlarged, 8 - 15 mm long, glabrous, rarely sparsely pubescent; petiolules twisted, 2.7 - 5.9 mm long, glabrous, rarely sparsely pubescent; leaflet blades chartaceous, ovate to broadly-elliptic, c. 2x longer than wide, 5.1 - 6.8 x 2.9 - 4 cm, glabrous, the base rounded, asymmetric, the apex usually retuse to rounded, rarely slightly acuminate, the adaxial surface lustrous, the midrib and secondary veins salient abaxially and inconspicuous adaxially
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences cymose, terminal, with corymbiform aspect, with three orders of branching, the flowers c. 7 - 18 per axis, spirally arranged on the axis, the axis rectangular, 2.3 -3 mm wide, velutinous; bracts early caducous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Pedicel
Pedicels rectangular in cross section, 4.1 - 5.9 x 1.9 - 3.1 mm, velutinous; bracteoles paired, opposite, inserted at apex of pedicel, obovate, 5.7 - 7.6 x 4 - 5.8 mm, densely tomentose abaxially and glabrous adaxially caducous; hypanthium 4.1 - 5.8 x 5 - 7 mm; flower buds light brown to golden, ellipsoid, 8.3 - 9.7 x 7.5 - 9.1 mm, tomentose
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx light brown to golden, densely tomentose abaxially and sericeous adaxially, the segments 4, subequal, elliptic to ovate, 14 - 15.6 x 8 - 12.4 mm
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla pentamerous, the petals subequal, white, membranaceous, glabrous, caducuous, the blade slightly clawed, elliptic, 12.4 - 13.2 x 6.5 - 8 mm, the claw c. 1.8 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 10, glabrous, the filaments white, gland-dotted on the surface, 20 – 27.5 mm long, the anthers cream to yellow, oblong to elliptic, 6.6 - 6.8 x 1.3 - 1.5 mm, glabrous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium
Gynoecium cream-yellowish, reddish when fertilised, glabrous; the stipe terete in cross section, 1.8 - 2.5 mm long, glabrous, the ovary oblong or slightly arcuate-elliptic, 6.9 - 7.2 x 3.3 - 3.5 mm, glabrous or rarely with very few hairs at the base, ovules c. 13, the style terete in cross section, 12 - 14.5 mm long, glabrous, the stigma punctiform
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit camara type, brown, relatively smooth, glabrous, the body usually cylindrical or slightly laterally compressed, 7.5 - 10 x 3.8 - 4.5 cm
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds c. 3 - 6 per fruit, brown, irregularly circular, c. 2.5 x 1.5 cm
In the context of the genus, the new species is similar to Hymenaea martiana and H. longifolia in having ovate to broadly-elliptic leaflets, brownish fruits, and a geographical distribution that overlaps those of both species; but it differs from H. martiana by having the leaflets and ovary entirely glabrous (vs the leaflets pubescent abaxially and the ovary with a dense tuft of golden hairs at the base), and from H. longifolia in having generally smaller leaflets (5.1 - 6.8 x 2.9 - 4 cm vs 10.5 - 13 x 5 - 6 cm) and smaller (7.5 - 10 x 3.8 - 4.5 cm vs 12 -15 x 5 - 6 cm) and cylindrical fruits (vs more strongly compressed and expanded toward apex). In addition, H. cangaceira is usually separable from H. martiana by its narrower shade diameter and more sparsely foliated canopy. Moreover, although they may occur sympatrically, H. cangaceira is found exclusively in the Caatinga, while H. martiana is more commonly found in the Cerrado. With respect to H. longifolia, H. cangaceira typically has a more strongly arborescent habit ( H. longifolia being predominantly shrubs or treelets) and less obviously cordate (or auriculate) leaflets. The species is named for the “Cangaceiros,” members of the “Cangaço” social and political movement, who in the early 20th century occupied the surroundings of several towns in the northeastern region of Brazil (Clemente2007). Some of these same towns are the seats ofthe municipalities in which the new species occurs. The Cangaçeiros were known for their ability seemingly to vanish from the pursuing authorities in the open and dry land­scape of the Caatinga, hiding themselves with camou­flage costumes in the thorny vegetation. Similarly, Hymenaea cangaceira has until now been “hiding” from taxonomists in the same geographical region, being confused with sympatric and morphologically similar species.
Hymenaea cangaceira occurs in the Caatinga region of Northeastern Brazil, usually on sandy or rocky soils.
Based on the IUCN Redlist criterion B1 (IUCN2016, Extent of Occurrence), the species’ relatively large geographical distribution (EOO=536,602 Km2) implies that it should be placed in the Least Concern category (LC).
Flowering from November to March, fruiting from March to April.
Jatoba (Portuguese).


  • Angiosperm Extinction Risk Predictions v1

    • Angiosperm Threat Predictions
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
  • IUCN Categories

    • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Kew Bulletin

    • Kew Bulletin
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0