Dwarf Cassia
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Dwarf Cassia
ative Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Dwarf Cassia • Hindi: सरमल Sarmal • Kannada: ನೆಲ ತಗಚೆ Nela tagache • Marathi: सरमळ Sarmal • Telugu: నల్ల జీలుగు Nalla jilugu
Botanical name: Chamaecrista pumila    Family: Caesalpiniaceae (Gulmohar family)
Synonyms: Cassia pumila, Senna prostrata, Cassia prostrata

Dwarf Cassia is a subshrub or spreading perennial herb, woody at base, 25-75 cm tall, with many branches. Branches, leaf-stalks and ra­chises of leaves are hairy. Leaves are 3-6 cm, with a gland carried on a stipe, on top of the leaf-stalk and on rachis between lowest pair of leaflets. Stipules are linear-subulate, 6-8 mm, long-pointed. Leaflets are 12-20 pairs, stalkless, unequally sided, linear-falcate, 8-12 × 2 mm, midrib near upper margin of blade, tip with a sharp point. Flowers arise in leaf axils, solitary or most often 2 or 3 together in a very short raceme. Bracts and bracteoles are similar to stipules but shorter. Sepals are ovate-oblong, 4-6 mm, tip pointed. Petals are bright yellow, nearly equal, oblong-obovate, shorter than or about as long as sepals, shortly clawed. Stamens are 5, nearly equal, anthers oblong. Ovary is stalkless, stigma peltate, small. Pods are flat, straight, strap-shaped, 3-5 cm long, 0.5 cm wide, hairy. Seeds are 10-20, subrhomboid, about 3 mm, flat, smooth.

Identification credit: Rajdeo Singh, Shrikant Ingalhalikar Photographed in Thane & Nasik, Maharashtra.

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