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Pakistan | Family List | Caesalpiniaceae | Cassia

Cassia absus Linn., Sp. Pl. 376. 1753. Baker in Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 2: 265. 1878; Ali and S. Quraishi in S.U. Sci. Res. J. 3: 8. 1967.

Vern.: Chaksu.

Cassia absus
Illustration

Credit: Asad

A herb or undershrub, 10-60 cm tall, erect, widely branching, clothed with viscous glandular hairs. Stipules 4 mm long, linear, persistent, viscous hairy, petiole 1.9-4 cm long, rachis 5-13 mm long. Leaflets in two pairs, broadly elliptic to obovate, unequal sided, 2-2.8 (-3.5) cm long and 10-18 (-25) mm broad, very puberulous or pubescent on both the surfaces, top rounded to blunt, base rounded or cuneate, petiolules 1 mm long, gland present between the pairs, .5 mm long, ligulate-acute, viscid-hairy. Racemes terminal or leaf opposed, c. 4-12 cm long, ┬▒ sessile. Bracts ovate, c. 2 mm long, viscous hairy. Bracteole 1, about the middle of each pedicel, c. 1 mm long, viscid hairy. Pedicel c. 3-4 mm long, rough hairy. Calyx 5, 4 mm long, viscous hairy, imbricate. Petals broadly obovate, 5-7 mm long, claw 1-3 mm long, glabrous. Stamens 5, fertile, staminodes absent. Disc straight, with 1-2 mm long bristles. Ovary densely strigose, sessile, c. 7-ovulate, style gla┬Čbrous, 2 mm long, stigma shell-shaped, incurved. Pods flat, coarsely hairy, thin valved, dehiscent, strap shaped, 4 cm long, 8 mm wide, short beaked; stipe 5 mm long. Seeds 4-8, black, glossy, subovate.

Type: Herb. Hermann vol. 2: fol. 4 (BM).

Distribution: W. Pakistan (N.W.F. Province, Punjab); everywhere in tropics of the world.

Chaksine, extracted from this plant, is reputed to have an action on central and peripheral nervous system. Seeds are astringent and strengthen the sight when used as collyrium. Powdered seeds are used in ophthalmia and conjunctivitis. It is also used as cathartic, and in cases of skin infection.


 

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