Monographs Details: Cassia fruticosa Mill.
Authority: Irwin, Howard S. 1966. Contributions to the botany of Guiana. IV. Legumonosae Caesalpinioideae. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 15: 112-128.
Scientific Name:Cassia fruticosa Mill.
Description:Distribution and Ecology - BRAZIL. Para: Serra da Arumanduba, Egler & Irwin 45974, 45991. VENEZUELA. Bolivar: Antiplanicie de Nuria, S.E. of Cerro de Picacho, Steyermark 88918.


While none of the cited collections constitutes a first report, the Brazil numbers are of interest because of the arborescent habit of the plants they represent. This species, a member of Bentham’s Series Bacillares, is quite variable in a number of characters, to the extent that in certain portions of its wide range individual variants have served as the bases for specific epithets. For the great majority of these segregate species no subsequent collections exist.

In Guiana C. fruticosa commonly occurs as a shrub with arching branches, but these, in the presence of suitable support, may ascend to 5 m or more. Treelike proportions have been noted in several widely separated stations.

The fruit is perhaps more variable than in most species, but in no case has the 7:1 or 8:1 ratio of length to width (ca. 15 cm x 2.5 cm), indicated in Miller's figure (Houston, Reliq. t. 17. 1780.) and later reaffirmed as approximately correct by N. E. Brown (personal communication to N. L. Britton7), been found in Guiana exsiccatae or observed in the field except in cases of distal abortion of the developing fruit. Forest Dept. of British Guiana 6791 (Demerara R., Agricola Village),, representing a local population with which I have personal familiarity, most nearly approaches the remarkable fruit of Houston s Vera Cruz material with a 10:1 length-width ratio (15.4 cm x 1.5 cm). Pubescence of leaflets, rachises, branchlets, perianth, and ovary varies in intensity, color, and relative distribution. According to present records, the distribution of C. fruticosa in Guiana is largely west of Suriname.

Distribution:Brazil South America| Venezuela South America|