Senna didymobotrya

Invasive species Disclaimer

In view of the fact that some tree species are invasive, the world Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) has put in place a policy document on Invasive Alien Species, currently under draft available at Here.

For more information on this subject, please refer to
100 of the World's worst Invasive and Alien Species.




Species Index    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Multiple Criteria Search


Abelmoschus moschatus
Acacia aneura
Acacia angustissima
Acacia aulacocarpa
Acacia auriculiformis
Acacia catechu
Acacia cincinnata
Acacia crassicarpa
Acacia elatior
Acacia erioloba
Acacia etbaica
Acacia ferruginea
Acacia glauca
Acacia holosericea
Acacia karroo*
Acacia koa
Acacia laeta
Acacia lahai
Acacia leptocarpa
Acacia leucophloea
Acacia mangium
Acacia mearnsii*
Acacia melanoxylon
Acacia mellifera
Acacia nilotica subsp nilotica
Acacia pachycarpa
Acacia pennatula
Acacia polyacantha ssp. polyacantha
Acacia saligna
Acacia senegal
Acacia seyal
Acacia sieberiana
Acacia tortilis
Acacia xanthophloea
Acrocarpus fraxinifolius
Adansonia digitata
Adenanthera pavonina
Aegle marmelos
Afzelia africana
Afzelia quanzensis
Agathis macrophylla
Agathis philippinensis
Ailanthus altissima
Ailanthus excelsa
Ailanthus triphysa
Albizia adianthifolia
Albizia amara
Albizia anthelmintica
Albizia chinensis
Albizia coriaria
Albizia ferruginea
Albizia gummifera
Albizia julibrissin
Albizia lebbeck
Albizia odoratissima
Albizia procera
Albizia saman
Albizia versicolor
Albizia zygia
Aleurites moluccana
Allanblackia floribunda
Allanblackia stuhlmannii
Allanblackia ulugurensis
Alnus acuminata
Alnus cordata
Alnus japonica
Alnus nepalensis
Alnus rubra
Alphitonia zizyphoides
Alstonia boonei
Alstonia congensis
Alstonia scholaris
Altingia excelsa
Anacardium occidentale
Andira inermis
Annona cherimola
Annona muricata
Annona reticulata
Annona senegalensis
Annona squamosa
Anogeissus latifolia
Anthocephalus cadamba
Antiaris toxicaria
Antidesma bunius
Araucaria bidwillii
Araucaria cunninghamii
Arbutus unedo
Areca catechu
Arenga pinnata
Argania spinosa
Artemisia annua
Artocarpus altilis
Artocarpus camansi
Artocarpus heterophyllus
Artocarpus integer
Artocarpus lakoocha
Artocarpus mariannensis
Asimina triloba
Ateleia herbert-smithii
Aucomea klaineana
Averrhoa bilimbi
Averrhoa carambola
Azadirachta excelsa
Azadirachta indica
Azanza garckeana
Related Links
Flowers and leaves at Haiku, Maui, Hawaii. 
© Forest & Kim Starr (USGS)
Habit at Haiku, Maui, Hawaii. 
© Forest & Kim Starr (USGS)
Flowers and fruit at old Kula Rd, Maui, Hawaii.
© Forest & Kim Starr (USGS)
Plant at Makawao, Maui, Hawaii.
© Forest & Kim Starr (USGS)

Senna didymobotrya is usually a several-stemmed shrub or small tree, 0.5-5(-9) m tall.  Branches terete, striate, pubescent to villous, rarely subglabrous.

Leaves simply paripinnate, narrowly oblong-elliptical in outline, 10-50 cm long; stipules broadly ovate-cordate, 6-17 mm x 8-10 mm, acuminate, palmately veined, reflexed, tardily caducous; petiole terete, 1-8 cm long, rachis up to 40 cm long, both pubescent and eglandular; petiolules up to 3 mm long; leaflets in 8-18 pairs, chartaceous, elliptical-oblong, 2-6.5 cm x 0.5-2.5 cm, 2-3 times longer than wide, base oblique, apex rounded but mucronate, pubescent to glabrescent, marginal vein distinct.

Inflorescence an erect, axillary, 20-30 flowered, spike-like raceme, 10-50 cm long; peduncle terete, 5-8 cm long, pubescent; bracts broadly ovate, 8-27 mm x 5-15 mm, black green, at first imbricate and enclosing the flower buds; bracteoles absent; pedicel slender, 3-10 mm long, densely pubescent; sepals 5, subequal, oblong-obovate, 9-14 mm long, puberulous, green; petals 5, slightly unequal, at first incurved,  later on more spreading, ovate to obovate, 17-27 mm x 10-16 mm, with a slender, about 1 mm long claw, glabrous, bright yellow, delicately veined; stamens 10, filaments shorter than anthers, anthers of 2 lower stamens 9-11 mm long, 3 upper stamens staminodial, anthers of 5 median stamens about 5 mm long; ovary and stipe velvety pubescent; style slender, glabrous, recurved, about 1 cm long; stigma punctiform.

Fruit a flat, 9-16 seeded pod, linear-oblong, 7-12 cm x 1.5-2.5 cm, glabrescent, short beaked, dehiscent or indehiscent when dry, depressed between the seeds, sutures raised, blackish-brown.

Seed flattened, oblongoid, apiculate, 8-9 mm x 4-5 mm x 2.5 mm, smooth, pale brown; areole elliptical, 3-4 mm x 0.7-1.5 mm.

In the older literature, this species is best known as Cassia didymobotrya. Until the beginning of the 1980s, Cassia L. was considered to be a genus with over 500 species.

Ecology

In its natural habitat S. didymobotrya is often ruderal in riparian montane wooded grassland or evergreen bushland.  It tolerates light frost.

Native range
Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Sudan, Uganda

Tree management

Plantation: When seedling planted as a small shade tree in tea it is spaced at about 5 m x 5 m.

Husbandry: The plants can be lopped several times per year to provide green manure.  Lopping is preferably done when the plants are in flower, when the nutrient content in the leaves is high. The plant yields a fairly large amount of lopping.  About 5 t of green material provides 35.5 kg nitrogen.  In temperate areas, potted ornamental plants are over wintered in greenhouses.

 

In its natural habitat S. didymobotrya is often ruderal in riparian montane wooded grassland or evergreen bushland.  It tolerates light frost.

S. didymobotrya is easily propagated by seed; cuttings are said not to be successful.  The seed may be sown in the nursery or directly in the field.

Poison: In Africa, it is commonly used as a stupefacient poison for fishing.

Shade or shelter: It has been used as a shade tree in tea plantations.

Medicine: It is widely used as a purgative and an anti-malaria medicine.  A decoction of the leaves is used against stomach complaints. Leaves and roots contain a number of anthraquinones, choline, and the trisaccharide raffinose.

Ornamental: It is now popular as an ornamental plant owing to its bright yellow flowers and black-green bracts.  It is used as ornamental plant in Africa.

Soil improver:  The aboveground biomass of S. didymobotrya grown as ground cover in Sri Lanka was found to contain 0.7 g N per 100 g fresh material. It was introduced as a green manure in India, Sri Lanka, Peninsular Malaysia and Java. It was introduced as a cover crop in India, Sri Lanka, Peninsular Malaysia and Java.

Other services: In sites where Erythrina spp. do not grow well, S. didymobotrya may be a valuable substitute.