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a genus of plants of the family Caesalpiniaceae. The plants are trees, shrubs, or, less commonly, lianas. The leaves are twice pinnate, and the flowers are five-parted and in racemes or panicles. The fruit is a flattened leathery pod. There are more than 100 species, distributed in the tropics and subtropics of both hemispheres. Several species, including C. sappan of Southeast Asia and C. echinata of South America, yield a valuable wood. Tanning substances are obtained from the fruits of C. coriaria, C. digyna, and other species. Many species yield dyes. In warm countries some species are cultivated as ornamentals; C. gillesii and C. japonica are cultivated in the USSR.