views updated

Saraca (family Leguminosae, subfamily Caesalpinoideae) A genus of small trees in which the young, pinnate leaves hang as pendulous, coloured tassels. The corymbose (see CORYMB) inflorescences are conspicuous bright yellow or red, borne on trunks or branches. The sepals form a 4-lobed tube, and are apetalous; there are usually 4–8 stamens which are long. The pods are big, flat, and dehiscent. According to tradition, the Buddha was born beneath S. asoca (asoka). There are 9 species of Saraca, occurring in tropical forests in India and Malesia.