Senna sophera (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Senna sophera (L.) Roxb.

Protologue: Fl. ind., ed. 2, 2: 347 (1832).


Cassia sophera L. (1753).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: enceng-enceng (Javanese)
  • Philippines: andadasi (Iloko), tambalisa (Tagalog)
  • Laos: ngot
  • Thailand: phak khlet (Bangkok), phak waan baan (central)
  • Vietnam: muồ ngót, muồng hòe.


Originating from the New World tropics, but now pantropical.


In Indonesia, extracts of all plant parts are used to treat epilepsy. In the Philippines, the seeds are used to treat fever. In India, the juice of the leaves is applied against ringworm, while it is also employed as an expectorant, an anthelminthic and as a remedy for rheumatic and inflammatory fevers. Besides these applications, in Thailand the leaves are used for wound healing and as an antipyretic.


An erect shrub, 1-2(-3) m tall, almost glabrous; leaves with 4-10 pairs of leaflets, petiole 3-5 cm long, with a thin, subulate or clavate gland 5-10 mm above the petiole joint, leaflets lanceolate, 2-5(-8) cm × 1-2 cm, upper leaflets largest, base rounded, apex acute; inflorescence an axillary corymb, few-flowered; flowers with ovate sepals 5 mm long, petals obovate, 10-14 mm × 6-8 mm, yellow, 2 longer stamens with filaments 5-7 mm long and anthers 5-6 mm long, 4 shorter stamens with filaments 2 mm long and anthers 5 mm long, 3-4 staminodes, ovary pubescent, style thin, glabrous, stigma slightly dilated, strongly incurved; fruit 6-10 cm × 0.5-1 cm; seeds 30-40 per pod, ovoid, compressed, 3-4 mm long. S. sophera occurs in secondary habitats such as roadsides and wast places at lower elevations.

Selected sources

97, 190, 336, 357, 580, 653, 817, 1178.


Anny Victor Toruan-Purba