www.seabean.com - A Sea-Bean Guide: Yellow Nickarbeans (Caesalpinia spp.)
WWW.SEABEAN.COM HOME PAGE SEA-BEAN GUIDE MAIN PAGE E-MAIL Contact Info
A Sea-Bean Guide

Yellow and Yellowish Nickarbeans
Caesalpinia spp.


Caesalpinia sp. #001
Grown by Mark Bartlett
Photo: Mark Bartlett

Caesalpinia sp. #003
From Florida Keys
collected by Christopher Boykin

Caesalpinia sp. #002
Grown by Mark Bartlett
Photo: Mark Bartlett

Note the brown "nipple" which is characteristic of the above forms of Yellow Nickarbeans,
much more pronounced than in the Gray Nickarbean or Sea Pearl, Caesalpinia bonduc.

Preferred Comomon Names: Nickar, Nickarbean

Growth studies have been done, by Mark Bartlett, to help distinguish between species of Caesalpinia seeds that strand in Florida, USA.

The three UNidentified species of Yellow Nickars will be addressed on this page.
Note: Many (but not all) photos on this page are "clickable", for viewing a higher resolution image.

Other, identified species have their own web pages:
A. Brown Nickar, Caesalpinia major         D. Orange Nickar, Caesalpinia ciliata         F. Gray Nickar, Caesalpinia bonduc
Brown Nickar, Caesalpinia major Canary Yellow Nickar Bleached White Yellow Nckar Orange Nickar, Caesalpinia ciliata Yellow Nickar Gray Nickar, Caesalpinia bonduc

Photo: Mark Bartlett

The ORANGE form (4th seed from left, above) was planted, and leaves and stems were sent (by Ed Perry) to Kew Botanical Gardens for ID.
These were determined, by Gwil Lewis, to be the Orange Nickar, Caesalpinia ciliata (common names:  Mato;   Small Yellow Nicker).

Mark has planted the varieties that he calls "Canary Yellow Nickar" (sp. #001) and the "Bleached White Yellow Nickar" (sp. #002)
and has found distinct differences in the leaves and pods, as well as distinguishing characteristics of the seeds.

The pods of the "Yellow Nickar" (i.e., very yellow, sp. #003) has pods that also distinctly differ from the two that Mark produced (shown below).
See photos, below, by Nan Rhodes and Pat Shipman.

ALL of these pods also differ from those of the Orange Nickar, Caesalpinia ciliata
As documented by one internet photo and several photos by Ed Perry.

Comparison of pods of Caesalpinia spp.

"Canary Yellow Nickar"
Caesalpinia sp. #001


Photo: Mark Bartlett
"Bleached White Yellow Nickar"
Caesalpinia sp. #002


Photo: Mark Bartlett
"Yellow Nickar"
Caesalpinia sp. #003



Photos: Nan Rhodes

  Mark has also found that the "Canary Yellow Nickar" and the "Bleached White Yellow Nickar" breed true...
i.e., Plant a seed of the "Canary Yellow Nickar" and you'll get pods with "Canary Yellow Nickar" seed in them!
Similarly, Plant a seed of the "Bleached White Yellow Nickar" and you'll get pods with "Bleached White Yellow Nickar" seed in them!

This supports, at least in part, that the variability once attributed to a single species of "Yellow Nickar" actually represents multiple species!

Pile ALL the seeds together and you may perceive a single, but very variable species.
However, Mark's growth studies, along with photos and an ID (of C. ciliata, by Kew Gardens) have documented the existence of multiple species.
When separated, each species displays less seed variability (and distinct pod differences!) than once believed for all forms combined as a single species.



Closeup Comparison of pods of Caesalpinia spp.

"Canary Yellow Nickar"
Caesalpinia sp. #001


Photo: Mark Bartlett
"Bleached White Yellow Nickar"
Caesalpinia sp. #002


Photo: Mark Bartlett
"Yellow Nickar"
Caesalpinia sp. #003



Photos: Nan Rhodes

Note the distinctly different pods!



Comparison of leaves of Caesalpinia spp.

"Canary Yellow Nickar"
Caesalpinia sp. #001


Photo: Mark Bartlett
"Bleached White Yellow Nickar"
Caesalpinia sp. #002


Photo: Mark Bartlett
"Yellow Nickar"
Caesalpinia sp. #003


Photo: Nan Rhodes
The leaves also distinctly differ between the "Canary Yellow Nickar" (left) and the "Bleached White Yellow Nickar" (center) and the "Yellow" Nickar (right).




"Yellow Nickars", Caesalpinia sp. #003

8 Florida Keys; 1 Port Aransas, TX

Photo: Ed Perry
Little Cayman Island

Photo: Pat Shipman
Great Abaco, Bahamas

Photo: Nan Rhodes

Per Ed Perry: The above left picture shows 8 yellow nickar seeds collected from the Florida Keys by Christopher Boykin.
Notice their tendency to bleach white. All eight float in saltwater.
The 9th seed in the leftmost picture, which is the largest and most white-ish seed, was found on the beach in Port Aransas, Texas, by Jerry Sullivan.


"Yellow Nickars" (Caesalpinia sp. #003) from Great Abaco, Bahamas
Photo: Nan Rhodes




Top Row, L-to-R: C. sp. #001, a single Gray Nickar, and C. sp. #002
Bottom Row, L-to-R: mixed (incl. C. ciliata?), Yellow (incl. bleached), Brown
Photo: Mark Bartlett

Unidentified (Caesalpinia sp. #002?) yellow-ish / green-ish Nickars
Carlos Rosario Beach;   Culebra, Puerto Rico;   November, 2005
Photo: Ed Perry

Links
  • The Fabulous Nickernuts - a Wayne's Word page
  • Identity of the Brown Nickarbean - by Ed Perry [Note: mentions Caesalpinia bonduc and C. ciliata and C. major]
  • The Lucky Bean - by John V. Dennis; 1998. Drifting Seed Newsletter 4(1):8. [Caution: outdated and incorrect information included here]
  • News About Nickernuts - by Pete Zies; 1998. Drifting Seed Newsletter 4(2):4. [Caution: outdated and incorrect information included here]
  • "Vines and Climbing Plants of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands" by Redro Acevedo-Rodriguez (see pages 233-237)
  • Includes a key, descriptions & figs of Caesalpinia spp., including C. bonduc, C. ciliata, C. culebrae, C. decapetala, C. major, C. portoricensis.
  • "The Flora of Curacao, Aruba and Bonaire" by I. Boldingh - References Caesalpinia ciliata, C. coriaria, C. pulcherrina (see pages 38-39)

  •   Return to Top  

    www.seabean.com A Sea-Bean Guide: Yellow Nickarbeans (Caesalpinia sp.)
    ALL web pages © www.seabean.com --- All rights reserved.
    ALL photos © www.seabean.com or other photographers individually credited.
    Use of ANY photo without written permission is prohibited!