has bright green leaves, that grow to about 12 centimeters long and
have three leaflets. They are oblong and
attach to the stem, or sometimes directly to the trunk, by means of a winged petiole. Hence, they
appear somewhat cross-shaped,
a feature that fascinated the conquistadores, who took
the unusual appearance of the foliage as a sign that a higher power approved
of their efforts to conquer the Americas.