Senna bicapsularis

Author: (Linnaeus) Roxburgh

Morphological description (bicapsularis Senna compl FT29 )
Arborescent shrub up to 3 m high, spreading with pendant or sometimes climbing twigs, entirely glabrous except for the young branches which may be thinly pubescent. Stipules narrowly lanceolate-subulate, 1-3 mm long, caducous.

Leaves paripinnate with 3 pairs of leaflets; petiole furrowed, slender, 15-25 mm, rachis 10-28 mm, furrowed, glabrous, bearing a clavate to ovoid gland between the lowest pair of leaflets. Leaflets obovate to rounded, more or less unequal-sided, 1.5-4 by 1-2.5 cm, base obliquely cuneate, glabrous; petiolules short, glabrous.

Inflorescence: Racemes slender, lax with 6-25 flowers, 5-17 cm long, including the 2-3 cm long peduncle; bracts similar to stipules, slightly smaller, early caducous; bracteoles absent;pedicels 2-7 mm long including the 2 mm hypanthium.

Flower: (bicapsularis Senna fl 255212)Sepals 5, yellowish to reddish brown, glabrous, ovate, broadly rounded, 5-10 mm long. Petals 5, yellow, obovate, 11-15 mm long, very short-clawed. Stamens 10: 3 lower ones with unequal filaments, 2-10 mm, anthers large, curved, 7 mm, opening with 2 apical pores and longitudinal rims; 4 shorter with 1 mm long filaments and anthers 4-5 mm long; 3 reduced stamens with minute anthers; filaments of all stamens straight. Ovary , stipe and style glabrous; stigma inconspicuous.

Pods terete, brown, smooth, glabrous, tardily dehiscent, 9-16 cm long, 1-1.5 cm diameter.

Seeds 50-60, olive-green, ovate, flattened, 5-7 mm.

Origin neotropic, probably native in the Caribbean area and northern S America. It was early introduced to the Old World tropics. In the Malesian area it has been cultivated and is sometimes naturalized.

In Malesia in secondary vegetation and plantations, from sea level up to 600 m altitude; in W Malaysia locally run wild.

Cultivated as an ornamental. (cf. Heyne, 1950: 744; Burkill, 1935: 477, under 'Cassia laevigata Willd.' as cited above).

1. This species has often been confused with Senna pendula (Willdenow) Irwin & Barneby (syn. Cassia colutioides Collad.). The most distinctive characters between the two are the short pedicels and the totally glabrous leaves of S. bicapsularis .
2. Two varieties are recognized by Irwin & Barneby (1982: 399). All the Malesian material examined belongs to var. bicapsularis .