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Pakistan | Family List | Caesalpiniaceae | Cassia

Cassia tora Linn., Sp. Pl. 376. 1753. Cooke, Fl. Bomb. Pres. 1: 447. 1903; Ali & S. Quraishi in S.U. Sci. Res. J. 3:8. 1967.

Vern.: Takla (Cooke, l.c.); Chakunda (Baquar & Tasnif, Med. Pl. S.W. Pak. 26. 1967).

Cassia tora

Credit: Asad

An erect, foetid, usually annual, often profusely branched herb or under-shrub, 30-120 cm tall. Stipules linear, hairy, acute, falcate, 8-15 mm long, c. 1 mm broad, subpersistent. Leaf c. 5-10 cm long, leaflets 3 pairs, membranous, mostly obovate, nearly equal sided, c. 0.5-5 cm long and 0.5-2.5 cm wide, both surfaces hairy, glabrescent or glabrous, base oblique, cuneate to rounded, apex delicately acute, petiolules 1.0-2 mm long, glands between 2 lower pairs of petiolules. RaceĀ¬mes short, penducle hairy, c. 3-4 mm long, with a single pair of flower, or axillary solitary. Bracts linear-acute, 2-4 mm long, pedicel 4-10 mm long, in fruit up to 1.5 cm, hairy. Sepals ovate, 5-6 mm long. Petals unequal, ovate, top rounded, 8-10 mm long. Stamens 7, developed, 3 largest, 4 lateral, 3 upper absent or staminodial. Ovary appressed, densely hairy, ribbed, style glabrous, stigma truncate. Pod glabrescent, subtetragonous, often curved, indehiscent, 10-20 cm long, 4-6 mm broad. Seeds 20-30, rhomboidal, glossy, dark, 5 mm across.

Fl. Per.: November-December.

Lectotype: Herb. Hermann vol. 4: fol. 79 (BM).

Distribution: W. Pakistan, Sind, Punjab; India eastwards to Polynesia (Brenan, l.c. 1958).

This plant is used as green manure and as fodder in some parts of the world, including W. Pakistan. Leaves are laxative, antiperiodic, asperient and anthelminĀ¬tic. Seeds are used as tonic and stomachic. Leaves and seeds are recommended in skin diseases as ringworm, scabies and leprosy.


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