Chamaecrista nictitans (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Chamaecrista nictitans (L.) Moench subsp. patellaria (Collad.) Irwin & Barneby var. ramosa (Vogel) Irwin & Barneby

Family: Leguminosae - Caesalpinioideae


Cassia patellaria DC. ex Collad.


Native to tropical America, introduced locally into Java.


Cover crop producing a good ground cover but limited amounts of green matter. Its actual usefulness is yet to be confirmed.


Annual, softly pilose, sometimes subwoody herb up to 1 m tall. Leaves pinnately compound with 10-30 pairs of leaflets; petiole with a gland below proximate pair of leaflets; leaflets linear-oblique, 7-15 mm × 1.5-3 mm, midrib close to distal margin. Inflorescence an axillary or supra-axillary raceme with 1-4 flowers; pedicel 2-4 mm long; petals of unequal size, obovate or orbicular, 4-6 mm long; stamens 9, 4 large and 5 small ones. Pod strap-shaped, 2.5-3.5 cm × 3-4 mm, black, dehiscent, 6-10-seeded. Seed rhomboid, about 4 mm × 3 mm, glossy dark brown. This plant is naturally well-supplied with root nodules and is free from common pests. It is considered a weed in Brazil. It resembles Chamaecrista mimosoides (L.) E. Greene, but grows more slowly than C. lechenaultiana (DC.) Degener.

Selected sources

27, 43, 70, 78.


M.S.M. Sosef & L.J.G. van der Maesen