Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A genus of trees of the family Cæsalpiniaceæ, with even-pinnate leaves and terminal racemes, or raceme-like panicles of small flowers. These have no calyx and only rudimentary petals. The stamens and pistil are covered in the bud by a pair of bracts. There are about 12 species, natives of tropical Africa. Several of them have tough fibrous inner bark, which is used by the natives for making bark-cloth. The most important are Brachystegia spicæformis of the Zanzibar coast and B. appendiculata of southeast Africa.
- n. small genus of tropical African timber trees having pale golden heartwood uniformly striped with dark brown or black:
“By late afternoon they were traveling through the brachystegia woodland broken by fantastically shaped kopjes.”
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