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Cassia fistula L.

Cassia fistula L.

Family

Leguminosae

Synonyms

None

Vernacular Names

Malaysia

Bereksa, tengguli, rajah kayu.

English

Golden shower, Indian laburnum.

Indonesia

Trengguli (Javanese), bobondelan (Sundanese), klobop (Madurese).

Philippines

Fistula (Tagalog, Cebu Bisaya), kana-pistula (Tagalog), bitsula (Cebu Bisaya).

Cambodia

Reach, reach speu, reach chhpoeus.

Laos

Khoun (General).

Thailand

Khuun (Central, Northern), lom laeng (Northern), ratchaphruek (Central).

Vietnam

C[aa]y b[of] c[aj]p n[uw][ows]c, mu[oof]ng ho[af]ng y[ees]n.

French

Caneficier.

Geographical Distributions

Cassia fistula is widespread in the tropics; often cultivated as an ornament in Java, planted as a medicinal or ornamental plant in the Philippines, and cultivated throughout New Guinea.

Description

Cassia fistula is a small to medium-sized tree, measures 10-15 m tall or sometimes more, deciduous or semi-deciduous. It is with spreading branches while the young twigs are smooth.

The leaves are with 3-7 pairs of leaflets, with petiole 5-8 cm long, terete, with ovate-oblong leaflets, measuring 7-12 cm x 4-8 cm, subcoriaceous, broadly wedge-shaped at base, acute at apex, with shiny upper surface and smooth when mature.

The inflorescence is an axillary, pendulous, lax raceme, measures 20-40(-60) cm long and many-flowered. The flowers are fragrant, with sepals 7-10 mm long, with broadly ovate petals and golden-yellow. There are 10 stamens where 3 of them are with filaments 3-4 cm long, while the other 4 are shorter with filaments 6-10 mm long and the last 3 are reduced with filaments 3-4 mm long . The anthers are minute.

The fruit is 20-60 cm long, pendent, terete, measures 1.5-2 cm in diametre, black, hairless and indehiscent. The seeds are numerous, separated by papery septa and embedded in black glutinous pulp.

Ecology / Cultivation

Cassia fistula occurs in Java in light forests below 400 m altitude, and in the Philippines in open grasslands at low and medium altitudes. It seems to favour calcareous and red, volcanic soils, but in Thailand, it is also found on sandy and loamy soils.

Line Drawing / Photograph

Cassia_fistula

References

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

     

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