Articles

Senna tora (L.) Roxb.

Senna tora (L.) Roxb.

Family

Leguminosae

Synonyms

Cassia tora L., Cassia borneensis Miq.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia

Gelenggang kechil, gelenggang padang.

English

Foetid cassia, panicled milkwort.

Indonesia

Gelenggang kecil, ketepeng kecil (Malay), kate-pengleutik (Sundanese).

Philippines

Katanda, balatong-aso (Tagalog).

Cambodia

D[aa]ng'hët khmaoch ni.

Laos

Nha leung meum, nha lap mun.

Thailand

Chum bet tai, chum bet lek (Central), lapmuen noi (Northern).

Vietnam

Th [ar]o quy[ees]t minh, mu[oof]ng h[oo]i, mu[oof]ng ng[ur].

French

Casse reticle.

Geographical Distributions

The origin of Senna tora is unknown, but nowadays it is only found in the Old World tropics.

Description

Senna tora is a foetid smelling herb or undershrub, up to 1 m tall, almost smooth and with a stout taproot.

The leaves are with 3 pairs of leaflets, petiole 1-4 cm long, rachis 2-3 cm long, and with an awl-shaped gland which is 2 mm long between the two lowest pairs of leaflets. The leaflets are obovate and measuring 2-5 cm x 1.5-2.5 cm. The upper leaflets are largest, thin, with wedge-shaped base to rounded and rounded apex.

The inflorescence is a short axillary raceme and 1-2(-3)-flowered. The flowers are with ovate sepals and measuring 5 mm x 2-4 mm while the petals are obovate, unequal, measuring up to 10 mm x 6 mm and yellow. The 7 stamens are almost equal. The filaments are 1.5-2 mm long with 3 large anthers. The 4 smaller ones are 1.5-2.5 mm long, with absent staminodes, densely hairy ovary with hairless style and truncate stigma.

The fruit is linear, cylindrical and measuring 10-15 cm x 0.5 cm. There are 20-30 seeds per pod which are rhomboidal, measuring 5 mm x 3 mm, glossy and with an areole (1.5-2 mm wide) that covers part of the seed surface.

Ecology / Cultivation

Senna tora is common throughout Southeast Asia in anthropogenic habitats at lower altitudes. It is reported to be an important weed in pastures and cropped fields in Southeast Asia, partly because of its high seed production.

Line Drawing / Photograph

Senna_tora

References

1.       Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.12(1): Medicinal and poisonous plants 1.