Large-Flowered Cassia
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Large-Flowered Cassia
P Introduced Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Large-Flowered Cassia
Botanical name: Senna macranthera    Family: Caesalpiniaceae (Gulmohar family)
Synonyms: Cassia macranthera

Large-Flowered Cassia is a weak leaning or runner bearing, or more often erect and bushy shrub or treelet, at maturity 1-3 m and slender trees of rapid growth, reaching a trunk 6-15 cm in diameter. Leaves below inflorescence are 2-26 cm. Distal pair of leaflets are obliquely lanceshaped-elliptic to ovate or obovate, varying from short-tapering blunt to triangularly pointed 1.8-16 x .8-6 cm, about 1.8-3.5 times as long as wide, with asymmetric base which is heart-shaped or rounded or broadly wedge-shaped, with a midrib with 6-12 pairs of veins. Flowers are usually borne in panicles. Flower-cluster-stalks, together with raceme axis, are 2-7.5 cm, the latter 3-14-flowered; bracts lanceshaped, triangular, lanceshaped-ovate, or elliptic-inverted-lanceshaped 1.3-4 mm, falling off early. Buds are spherical, finely velvet-hairy, sepals either firm or somewhat membranous, often yellowish or pallid or pallid-edged, strongly graduated, in outline broadly obovate to nearly round to elliptic-inverted-lanceshaped, the largest of the inner ones 4-14.5 x 1.8-8 mm. Petals are finely velvet-hairy dorsally especially along veins, homomorphic except for the often slightly wider upper one and for one lower slightly more oblique, all contracted into a slender claw 2-4 mm, the blades varying from broadly obovate to oblong-inverted-lanceshaped, all blunt, the longest 2.5-4.5(-5) cm. Stamens are of varying length, up to 9 mm, anthers 4-10 mm, style 1.5-5 mm, little dilated at tip. Pod are drooping or (when short) irregularly spreading, the beak 4-9 mm, the nearly cylindroid body straight or sinous 6-26 x 0.6-1.4 cm. Large-Flowered Cassia is native to Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, cultivated elsewhere.
Medicinal uses: The plant is reputedly used in the treatment of syphilis.

Identification credit: Prashant Awale Photographed in cultivation in Maharashtra.

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