Monographs Details: Adipera bicapsularis (L.) Britton & Rose ex Britton & P.Wilson
Authority: Britton, Nathaniel L. Flora Borinqueña.
Description:Species Description - Senna is a purgative drug, obtained, officially, from the leaves of herbaceous plants of a genus and species botanically related to the shrub here illustrated, natives of the Old World, and often adulterated; the leaves of this shrub have somewhat similar properties, and have been used in domestic medicine, whence the Spanish name: Hoja de sen is also used for them. The English name refers to the sometimes abundant blooming of the shrub in midwinter, and Styver-bush is still another. Most plentiful in dry districts, at low elevations, in Porto Rico, attractive by clustered, yellow flowers, and growing also on Culebra and Vieques, the range of this species covers nearly all the West Indies and continental tropical America, north to northern Mexico, and it has been introduced into the Old World tropics.
Adipera (Greek, referring to the unlike stamens and staminodes), a genus proposed by the botanist Rafinesque in 1838, has about 12 species of shrubs, natives of tropical America, some of them with long, vine-like branches. Their once-compound leaves have 3, or more, pairs of leaflets. Their mostly large, yellow flowers are clustered, with 5, unequal sepals, 5, nearly equal petals, usually 7, perfect stamens, and 3, imperfect ones (staminodes); the 1-celled ovary contains many ovules. The fruit is a long, nearly round pod, which falls away without opening, or bursts irregularly, containing many, flat, transverse seeds.
Adipera bicapsularis (the pod was supposed to be 2-celled) is a smooth shrub, sometimes attaining a length, or height, of about 3.5 meters, usually smaller, with slender, elongated branches. Its leaves are from 5 to 9 centimeters long, with from 3 to 5 pairs of leaflets and bearing a small, oblong gland between the lower pair; the leaflets are from 1 to 4 centimeters long, rounded, short-stalked, the upper pair obovate, the other oblong. The flowers are few together in axillary clusters about as long as the leaves, or longer, the individual ones on stalks from 3 to 8 millimeters long; the oblong, blunt sepals are from 8 to 12 millimeters long, the yellow, veined petals somewhat longer. The slender, nearly cylindric pods are from 8 to 15 centimeters long, about 1 centimeter thick, the many, oval, brown, shining seeds about 5 millimeters long.
Two other species of Adipera grow in Porto Rico, one of them, Adipera Stahlii illustrated in this work.
Discussion:Sen de pais
Cassia bicapsularis Linnaeus, Species Plantarum 376. 1763.
Cassia sennoides Jacquin, Collecteana1: 74. 1786.
Adipera bicapsularis Britton and Rose; Britton and Wilson, Scientific Survey of Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands 5: 370. 1924.