Arsenic Bush
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Arsenic Bush
P Naturalized Photo: Sobhapati Samom
Common name: Arsenic Bush, Brazilian buttercup, buttercup bush, dooleyweed, laburnum, smooth leaved senna • Manipuri: ꯊꯧꯅꯝ Thounam
Botanical name: Senna septemtrionalis    Family: Caesalpiniaceae (Gulmohar family)
Synonyms: Cassia aurata, Cassia elegans, Cassia laevigata

Arsenic Bush is a poisonous shrub that can grow up to 2-3 m tall with yellow flowers. The leaves are arranged in pairs opposite each other, consisting of three or four pairs of ovate leaflets. Flower racemes are borne in leaf-axils or at branch-ends, 4-10-flowered, 5-10 cm including flower-cluster-stalk 2.5-5 cm; bracts falling off, linear-lanceshaped, 2-5 mm. Flower-stalks are 1.5-2.5 cm. Sepals are yellowish green, ovate-elliptic, unequal, inner 8-10 mm, outer shorter. Petals are bright yellow, ovate-round, 1-1.5 cm, shortly clawed. Fertile stamens are 7, unequal. The pods are cylindrical, 7-10 cm long, containing shiny seeds. It is a common garden ornamental plant that also invades forest margins, riverbanks, roadsides, waste ground and plantations. Arsenic Bush is native to tropical America; widely cultivated in the tropics, and naturalized. Flowering: October-March.

Identification credit: J.M. Garg Photographed at Laimanai hill, Churachandpur distt, Manipur & Bomdilla-Tawang route, Arunachal Pradesh.

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