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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 10 | Fabaceae | Senna

1. Senna alata (Linnaeus) Roxburgh, Fl. Ind., ed. 1832. 2: 349. 1832.

翅荚决明 chi jia jue ming

Cassia alata Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 378. 1753.

Shrubs, 1.5-3(-5) m tall. Branches greenish, thick, pubes­cent. Leaves 30-60 cm; stipules persistent, triangular, 6-10(-15) mm; petiole and rachis with 2 longitudinal ribs and narrow wings; petiolar glands absent; petiolules very short or leaflets subsessile; leaflets 6-12(-20) pairs, oblong or obovate-oblong, 6-15 × 3.5-7.5 cm, thinly leathery, glabrous, base obliquely truncate, apex obtusely rounded and cuspidate. Ra­cemes axillary, dense, many flowered, or sometimes several ra­cemes forming a terminal panicle, 10-50 cm; peduncles 7-14 cm; bracts caducous, strobilaceous, oblong to broadly ovate, 2-3 × 1-2 cm, at first enveloping flowers. Flowers ca. 2.5 cm in diam. Sepals orange-yellow, oblong, unequal. Petals bright yel­low, tinged with conspicuous purple veins, ovate-orbicular, 16-24 × 10-15 mm, shortly clawed. Stamens 10, fertile stamens 7, opening with apical pores, lower 2 with stout filaments ca. 4 mm and larger anthers, 4 with filaments ca. 2 mm and smaller anthers, reduced stamens 3 or 4. Ovary puberulent, sessile; ovules many. Legume winged, sharply tetragonal, 10-20 × 1.5-2 cm, glabrous, with a broad, membranous wing down middle of each valve; wings 4-8 mm wide, papery, crenulate. Seeds 50-60, compressed, deltoid. 2n = 24, 28.

Sparse forests, dry slopes. Guangdong, ?Hainan, S Yunnan [native to tropical America; widely introduced in the tropics elsewhere].

This plant is used as a laxative.


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