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Pakistan | Family List | Caesalpiniaceae | Cassia

Cassia alata Linn., Sp. Pl. 378. 1753. Baker in Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 2: 264. 1878.

Cassia alata

Credit: Asad

A shrub 1-5 m tall. Stem marked with leaf scars and persistent stipules. Stipules 6-9 mm long, persistent, auriculate. Petiole 1.5-2.5 cm long, rachis 30-60 cm long, leaflets 8-24 pairs, 3-15 cm long, 2-7 cm wide, oblong-elliptic or oblongĀ¬-obovate, top rounded or slightly notched. Raceme 15-70 cm long; bracts 2-3 cm long, enclosing the bud, caducous. Flowers yellow. Sepals 1.5-2 cm long, 4-6 mm wide. Petals 1.5-2 cm long, 1 cm wide. Stamens 9 or 10, variable in size, all funcĀ¬tional. Pod straight with 2 longitudinal wings, 40-60 seeded.

Fl. Per.: October-December.

Distribution: Pantropical weed of S. American origin; commonly planted in gardens in West Pakistan.

Cultivated as an ornamental plant. It is reputed to have medicinal properties against skin spots, scabies and ringworms. The active principle is chrysophanic acid. The roasted leaves are taken as laxative.


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