Cassia javanica (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Cassia javanica L.

Protologue: Sp. pl. 1: 379 (1753).


  • Cassia nodosa Roxb. (1832),
  • Cassia bartonii F.M. Bailey (1901),
  • Cassia agnes (de Wit) Brenan (1958).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: bobondelan (Sundanese), boking-boking (Sumatra), trengguli (Javanese)
  • Malaysia: bebusok, busok-busok (Peninsular)
  • Philippines: pink shower (En), antsoan (Bikol)
  • Cambodia: bô prùk'
  • Laos: khoun loy2
  • Thailand: chaiaphruk (central), kalalphruk (central, northern), lak khoei lak kluea (Trang)
  • Vietnam: bù cạp, muồng bò cạp.


Widespread in the Malesian area, wild and cultivated. Widely cultivated all over tropical Asia. The various subspecies are geographically confined to parts of the Malesian area, though sometimes cultivated outside their original area of distribution.


The ripe pods and seeds are used as a traditional laxative throughout the Malesian area. In Thailand, bark and seeds are also used as antipyretics. However, it was noted that emesis may be observed. The bark is used for tanning leather. C. javanica , in particular subsp. agnes (de Wit) K. Larsen and subsp. nodosa (Roxb.) K. & S.S. Larsen, is also widely planted as an ornamental. The wood is used for general construction, furniture and cabinet making.


  • A small to medium-sized tree up to 25(-40) m tall, deciduous or semi-deciduous, trunk of young trees either smooth or armed with stump-remnants of branches.
  • Leaves with 5-15(-20) pairs of leaflets, petiole 1.5-4 cm long, leaflets elliptical-ovate to oblong, 2.5-5 cm × 1.5-2.5 cm, base broadly rounded, apex acute or rounded to obtuse.
  • Inflorescence a raceme or panicle, terminal on leafy shoots or lateral on short side branches, up to 16 cm long, many-flowered.
  • Flowers with sepals 4-10 mm long, green to dark red, petals 15-35 mm long, whitish to reddish or buff, stamens 10, 3 longer ones with filaments 2 cm long, 4 shorter with filaments about 1 cm long and 3 reduced wih filaments about 1 cm long and minute anthers.
  • Fruit pendent, terete, 20-60 cm long, 1-1.5(-2.5) cm in diameter, indehiscent.
  • Seeds numerous, embedded in a flat disk.

C. javanica is a very polymorphic species and several subspecies are distinguished. It has a wide ecological amplitude and is generally found at lower elevations.

Selected sources

97, 202, 284, 336, 357, 580, 640, 653, 817, 1520, 1564.


Anny Victor Toruan-Purba