Glossy Cassia
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Glossy Cassia
P Introduced Photo: Antu Xavier
Common name: Glossy Cassia, Golden Rain tree, Hediondilla
Botanical name: Senna nitida    Family: Caesalpiniaceae (Gulmohar family)
Synonyms: Cassia nitida, Cassia antillana, Chamaefistula antillana

Glossy Cassia is a very uncommon clambering or climbing shrub, which attains 2-5 m in length. Stems are up to 2.5 cm in diameter, grayish, almost cylindrical; branches green, striped, hairless or finely velvet-hairy. Leaves are alternate, compound, with 4 oppositely arranged leaflets, ovate or elliptical, 6-12 x 2-4.5 cm, the distal pair larger, the tip tapering, the base unequal or rounded, the margins slightly wavy, curled; upper surface shiny, hairless or finely velvet-hairy, with the midvein sunken; lower surface hairless, yellowish green, dull, dotted; leaflet-stalks swollen; axis with a linear gland between the leaflets. Leaf-stalks are longer than the axis, grooved, swollen at the base. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils racemes, produced toward the end of the branches. Sepals are oblong or ovate, about 5 mm long. Petals are yellow, rounded, 1-2 cm long. Legume 10-18 × 1-1.5 cm, almost cylindrical, compressed along the suture, fleshy, producing a yellow exudate, oily and rancid. Seeds about 10 mm long, flattened, elliptical. Glossy Cassia is native to Tropical America. Flowering: October-December.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Kerala.

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