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Pakistan | Family List | Caesalpiniaceae | Cassia

Cassia obtusifolia Linn., Sp. Pl. 377. 1753. Cooke, Fl. Bomb. Pres. 1:447.1903; Brenan in Kew Bull. 13: 248. 1958; Ali & S. Quraishi in S.U. Sci. Res. J. 3: 7.1967.

Vern.: Chakunda (Nadkarni, Ind. Mat. Med. 1: 289. 1954).

Cassia obtusifolia

Credit: Asad

An erect subglabrous herb or undershrub, 0.5-2 m tall. Leaf stipulate, sti¬pule 5-10 mm long, linear, petiole 2-3 cm long, rachis 1-4 cm long, gland c. 2 mm long, present between lowest petiolules, petiolules c. 2.5 mm, leaflets 3 pairs, 1.5-6 cm long, 1.2-3 cm wide, obovate, upper surface glabrous, lower surface hairy, rounded at the top, apex minutely acute, base tapering, cuneate to acute, slightly oblique. Racemes short, peduncle c. 2 mm long, bearing 1-2 flowers. Bracts linear-acute, glabrous except the edges, 4-8 mm long, pedicel 1.2-3.5 cm long, in fruit up to 4.5 cm long, hairy. Sepals membranous, ovate, acute to rounded-ovate, 6-7 mm long, glabrous or hairy on edge. Petals unequal in size, more or less ovate, obtuse or rounded, 12-15 mm long, the upper petal truncate or emargi¬nate, narrow at the base, but claw indistinct. Stamens 10, 3 lower longest, 4 lateral smaller, 3 upper stamens staminodial. Ovary more or less glabrous, ribbed, style glabrous, stigma truncate. Pods subterete, glabrous to subglabrous, indehiscent, 10-25 cm long, 4-8 mm wide, septate, 20-50 seeded, seeds rhomboidal, dark brown, 4-5 mm long, albumen copious.

Fl. Per.: August-September.

Type: Hortus Elthamensis, Dellenius (OXF). Grown from seeds collected ‘circa Havanam in Cuba insula’. For further discussion see Brenan (l.c.).

Distribution: W. Pakistan, Punjab; Kashmir; distributed in the tropical regions of the world except Polynesia and Australia (Brenan, l.c. 1958).

The plant contains emodin.


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