Cassia grandis (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Cassia grandis L.f.

Protologue: Suppl.: 230 (1781).


  • Cassia pachycarpa de Wit (1956).

Vernacular names

  • Horse cassia, pink shower (En)
  • Malaysia: kotek, kotek mamak
  • Cambodia: sac phle, kreete
  • Laos: brai xiem, may khoum
  • Thailand: kanpaphruek (Bangkok)
  • Vietnam: bồ cạp dỏ, ô môi.


Originating from tropical America, but introduced throughout the tropics; abundant in Cambodia and southern Vietnam, common as an ornamental and escape in Malaysia, Java and New Guinea.


The fruit pulp is used as a laxative similar to C. fistula and reported to be more powerful. A decoction of the leaves is used as a laxative and in the treatment of lumbago. C. grandis is also reported to give strong multipurpose wood.


  • A medium-sized tree, up to 20(-30) m tall, semi-deciduous, young branches and inflorescence covered with rusty lanate indumentum; leaves with 10-20 pairs of leaflets, petiole 2-3 cm long, lanate, leaflets subsessile, elliptical-oblong, 3-5 cm × 1-2 cm, subcoriaceous, rounded at both ends.
  • Inflorescence a lateral raceme, 10-20 cm long, 20-40-flowered.
  • Flowers with sepals 5-8 mm long, petals initially red, fading to pink and later orange, the median one red with a yellow patch, stamens 10 with hirsute anthers, 3 long ones with filaments up to 30 mm and anthers 2-3 mm long, 5 short ones with filaments 7-9 mm and anthers 1-1.5 mm long, 2 reduced ones with filaments about 2 mm long.
  • Fruit pendent, compressed, 20-40(-60) cm long, 3-5 cm in diameter, blackish, glabrous, woody, rugose.
  • Seeds 20-40 per pod, surrounded by sweetish pulp.

C. grandis is a common ornamental in villages at lower altitude.

Selected sources

  • Backer, C.A. & Bakhuizen van den Brink Jr, R.C., 1963-1968. Flora of Java. 3 volumes. Noordhoff, Groningen, the Netherlands. Vol. 1 (1963) 647 pp., Vol. 2 (1965) 641 pp., Vol. 3 (1968) 761 pp.
  • Corner, E.J.H., 1988. Wayside trees of Malaya. 3rd Edition. 2 volumes. The Malayan Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 774 pp.
  • de Wit, H.C.D., 1956. A revision of the genus Cassia (Caesalp.) as occurring in Malaysia. Webbia 11: 197-292.
  • Ding Hou, Larsen, K. & Larsen, S.S., 1996. Caesalpiniaceae (Leguminosae Caesalpinioideae). In: Kalkman, C., Kirkup, D.W., Nooteboom, H.P., Stevens, P.F. & de Wilde, W.J.J.O. (Editors): Flora Malesiana. Series 1, Vol. 12(2). Rijksherbarium/Hortus Botanicus, Leiden University, the Netherlands. pp. 409-730.
  • Farooqi, M.I.H., Kapoor, V.P. & Islam, G., 1978. Seeds of genus Cassia as possible sources of industrial gums. Indian Forester 104(11): 729-733.
  • Flores, E.M., Rivera, D.I. & Vasquez, N.M., 1986. Germinacion y desarrollo de la plantula de Cassia grandis L. (Caesalpinioideae) [Germination and development of the seedling of Cassia grandis L. (Caesalpinioideae)]. Revista de Biologia Tropical 34(2): 289-296.
  • Irwin, H.S. & Barneby, R.C., 1982. The American Cassiinae. A synoptical revision of Leguminosae tribe Cassieae subtribe Cassiinae in the New World. Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden 35(2): 64-635.
  • Jolin, D. & Torquebiau, E., 1992. Large cuttings: a jump start for tree planting. Agroforestry Today 4(4): 15-16.
  • Larsen, K., Larsen, S.S. & Vidal, J.E., 1980. Légumineuses Caesalpinioïdées [Leguminosae Caesalpinioideae]. In: Vidal, J.E. & Vidal, Y. (Editors): Flore du Cambodge, du Laos et du Viêtnam [Flora of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam]. Vol. 18. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. 227 pp.
  • Nguyen Van Duong, 1993. Medicinal plants of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Mekong Printing, Santa Ana, California, United States. 528 pp.
  • Valencia, E., Madinaveitia, A., Bermejo, J., Gonzalez, A.G. & Gupta, M.P., 1995. Alkaloids from Cassia grandis. Fitoterapia 66(5): 476-477.

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