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Pakistan | Family List | Caesalpiniaceae

Cassia Linn., Sp. P1. 373. 1753. Gen. Pl. ed. 5. 178. 1754.

Cassia senna

Credit: Asad

Trees, shrubs, herbs. Leaf paripinnate or rarely reduced to phyllode; stipules of various shapes, petiolar glands often present. Inflorescence axillary or terminal raceme, terminal panicle or flowers subsolitary axillary; bracts and bracteoles variable. Calyx 5, imbricate, tube short. Petals 5, imbricate, subequal or lowermost larger. Stamens 10, all perfect or subequal or the upper ones smaller or imperfect or only 5 stamens; anthers uniform or upper ones smaller, dehiscing by an apical pore or short slit. Ovary sessile or stipitate, ovules numerous, style with terminal stigma. Fruit variable, terete or compressed, membranous or woody, often 2 valved, sometimes indehiscent, rarely winged lengthwise. Seeds mostly compressed, endospermous.

About 600 species; mostly distributed in tropics and subtropics.

1 Foliar gland absent   (2)
+ Gland present on the leaf rachis   (3)
2 (1) Three stamens at least twice as long as the other, with deeply (twice) curved filaments, which are many times as long as the anthers. Anthers finally longitudinally split, not distinctly basifixed. Transverse septa of the pod entire (subgenus Cassia)   (4)
+ All stamens nearly equally short, often two or three slightly longer, filaments shorter than or as long as their anthers. Anthers opening by single or double terminal pores, basifixed. Transverse septa of the fruits entire or not (subgenus Senna)   (8)
3 (1) Sepals blunt or rounded. Leaflets in few or many pairs, vary rarely narrow. Fruits indehiscent or sub-dehiscent. Seeds transverse or longitudinal. Bracteoles present or absent. Funicle Capillary subgenus Senna)   (14)
+ Sepals vary acute. Leaflets in many pairs, very narrow, rarely few pairs and broader. pods flat, dehiscent. Seeds ongitudinal. Bracteoles present. Funicle short, broad, + triangular (sub-genus Lasiorhegma)   (24)
4 (2) Petals yellow to golden; bracts vary small, falling off long before flowers appear   Cassia fistula
+ Petals pink or red, fading to buff, orange or white; bracts persisting till flowers open   (5)
5 (4) Ovary glabrous; leaflets oblong   Cassia renigera
+ Ovary pubescent; leaflets variable   (6)
6 (5) Petals up to 1.5 cm long; filaments not swollen in the middle   Cassia roxburghii
+ Petals (1.5) 2-3.5 cm long; filaments markedly swollen in the middle   (7)
7 (6) Stipules c.5 mm long, narrow, not leafy, leaflets usually acute   Cassia nodosa
+ Stipules c. 12-15 mm long, leafy, leaflets usually obtuse   Cassia javanica
8 (2) Leaflets 5 cm or more long   Cassia alata
+ Leaflets less than 5 cm long   (9)
9 (8) Stipules c. 1-2.5 cm long, c. 5 mm broad, acuminate   Cassia didymobotrya
+ Stipules c. 7 mm or less long   (10)
10 (9) Leaflets acute   Cassia senna
+ Leaflets obtuse   (11)
11 (10) Tree, inflorescence panicle of corymbs   Cassia siamea
+ Herb or undershrub, inflorescence a raceme. a raceme   (12)
12 (11) Pod without ridges on the valves   Cassia holosericea
+ Pod with ridges on the valves   (13)
13 (12) Petiole c. 1-3.5 cm long, raceme 6-23 cm long, longer or equal to subtending leaves. Sepals 8-13 mm long. Petals 9-20 mm long   Cassia italica ssp. italica
+ Petiole c. 1-2.5 cm long, raceme 2-8 cm long, smaller than subtending leaves. Sepals 5-8 mm long. Petals 8-9 mm long   Cassia italica ssp. micrantha
14 (3) Gland inserted on the petiole above, not between the leaflets   (15)
+ Gland inserted between first or more pairs of leaflets   (17)
15 (14) Bracts acute, more than 5 mm long .Peduncle 0.3-0.8 mm long carrying 2-4 flowers. Foliar gland Ovoid, short, squat   Cassia occidentalis
+ Bracts blunt, 4-5 mm long. Peduncle c. 1-2.8 cm long, carrying 4-10 flowers. Foliar gland narrow, Subulate-clavate   (16)
16 (15) Leaf 14-21 cm long, leaflets 4-12 pairs. Pod 9-10 cm long   Cassia sophera
+ Leaf up to 9 cm long, leaflets 3-5 pairs. Pod 5-7.5 cm long   Cassia purpurea
17 (14) Stipules c. 5 mm or more broad   (18)
+ Stipules less than 5 mm broad   (19)
18 (17) Glands absent or reduced and irregularly placed   Cassia didymobotrya
+ Glands well developed, present between the leaflets   Cassia auriculata
19 (17) Leaflets obovate   (20)
+ Leaflets not obovate   (22)
20 (19) Ten perfect stamens present   Cassia surattensis var. suffruticosa
+ Seven perfect stamens present, three staminodial or absent   (21)
21 (20) Gland between the lowest pair of leaflets, pedicel 1.2-3.5 cm long (rarely as short as 5 mm), 1.5-4.5 cm in pods, areoles on both sides of the seed, narrow linear, .3-.5 mm wide   Cassia obtusifolia
+ Gland between two lower pairs of leaflets, Pedicel (of flower) c. 4-10 mm long , (of pods) up to 15 mm; areoles on both sides of the seed, 1.5-2 mm wide, often almost as wide as the seed   Cassia tora
22 (19) Leaves with 2-3 pairs of leaflets   Cassia corymbosa
+ Leaves with more than 3 pairs of leaflets   (23)
23 (22) Three upper stamens staminodial   Cassia floribunda
+ Ten perfect stamens present   Cassia surattensis var. surattensis
24 (3) Leaflets 2 (or 1) pairs, plants viscid, hairy, stamens 5, no staminodes   Cassia absus
+ Leaflets more than 5 pairs, plants not viscid, stamens usually 10 (rarely 9,7 or 5)   (25)
25 (24) Foliar glands distinctly stiped   Cassia pumila
+ Foliar glands sessile   (26)
26 (25) Stamens 4-5 (subequal)   Cassia hochstetteri
+ Stamens 10, sometimes 7   Cassia wallichiana

  • List of lower taxa


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