Cassia

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Cassia

Description

Trees or large shrubs. Leaves spirally arranged, often distichous, paripinnate; extra- floral nectaries not present. Inflorescence racemose, terminal on main shoots or on short side shoots; pedicels with 2 bracteoles at or shortly above the base. Seeds many, 1- or 2-seriate; funicle filiform.

Distribution

Africa: present Asia: present Asia-Tropical: Australasia: tropical America: present
About 30 species, in tropical America, Africa, Asia, Malesia and Australia. In Malesia there are three introduced and only one indigenous species.

Taxonomy

In the present treatment we have followed the generic concept of Irwin & Barneby (l.c. 1981: 97-106), who through three decades have studied the tribe Cassieae of the New World and proposed a reorganization of the tribe. This has now been generally accepted even if it breaks with the most common arrangements in Floras and Herbaria. In the 'neighbouring' Floras, i.e. Flora of Thailand and Flore du Cambodge, du Laos et du Viet-Nam, the genus Cassia has been treated in its wider sense. We have here, inconveniently, decided to follow the newer system, partly because it is widely accepted, e.g. by the ILDIS-database, partly because Irwin and Barneby have reevaluated and typified a number of widespread taxa in our region, and finally because the great majority of the species occurring in the Malesian region are introduced, cultivated or, in several cases, naturalized. In the genus Cassia only one species is indigenous, in Senna probably only 3 out of 17 treated here, and in Chamaecrista one or two only.

A number of taxa, occasionally recorded as in cultivation in Malesia, have not been included. See also page 565.

Citation

Irwin & Barneby - in Mem. N.Y. Bot. Gard. 1982: 4
Rudd - in Fl. Ceylon. 1991: excl. syn.
Irwin & Barneby - in Polhill & Raven, Adv. Leg. Syst. 1. 1981: 105
Watson & Dallwitz, Gen. Leg.-Caesalp. 1983: excl. syn.
L., Gen. Pl., ed. 5. 1754: excl. syn. Senna Tournef.
K. & S.S. Larsen - in Fl. Thailand. 1984: 102
de Wit - in Webbia. 1956: 198
K. & S.S. Larsen - in Fl. Camb., Laos & Vietnam. 1980: 77