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The species are shrubs to large trees ranging in size from 2 to 30 m (6.6 to 98 ft) tall. The leaves are bipinnate in most species, pinnate or simple in a few species. The flowers are produced in conspicuous large panicles, each flower with a five-lobed blue to purple-blue corolla; a few species have white flowers. The fruit is an oblong to oval flattened capsule containing numerous slender seeds.
native to tropical and subtropical regions of Central America, South America (especially Brazil and Argentina), Cuba, Hispaniola and the Bahamas. It has been planted widely in Asia, especially in Nepal. It is found throughout the Americas and Caribbean, and has been introduced to Australia, New Zealand, India, Fiji, Portugal and parts of Africa.