Herb with woody base or low shrub up to 1.5 m high, erect or decumbent; branches more or less densely greyish to yellowish pubescent. Leaves with 10-30 pairs of leaflets; stipules persistent, linear, acute, 10-15 mm long; petioles 3-10 mm with a slightly elevated, discoid gland just below the lowest pair of leaflets; rachis 5-12 cm, pubescent, canaliculate, i.e. with 2 parallel crests along the upper side; sometimes in dried specimens close together. Flowers in few-flowered, short, axillary or supra-axillary racemes; bracts and bracteoles like the stipules but smaller; pedicels pubescent, 7-10 mm long. Petals yellow, unequal, lanceolate to obovate, 6-15 mm long, claw short. Stamens (4-)9-10; filaments very short; anthers 5-8 mm, opening by apical pores. Ovary woolly with long and short, thin hairs; style glabrous, recurved; stigma flat, ciliate. Seeds 10-15, black, smooth, flat, 4 by 3 mm.
Malesian area present, SE Asia present
SE Asia (see note 2), widespread in the Malesian area but much less common than Chamaecrista mimosoides.
We regard this species as indigenous in SE Asia and are not able to follow Irwin & Barneby in joining it with Chamaecrista nicticans as a var. glabrata. There is, however, still work to be done with the C. mimosoides-leschenaultiana complex in tropical Asia; e.g. Verdcourt (l.c.) is of the opinion that in New Guinea a mixture of indigenous and introduced elements occur and one collection from 1600 m ('area 6, Wamena') is an exceptionally robust plant with hairy fruits up to 6.5 by 0.6 cm. Also elsewhere special ecotypes occur; K. & S.S.Larsen (1980: 108) mentioned some very small forms from the Indo-Chinese area. Cassia leschenaultiana var. auricoma Grah. ex de Wit represents a part of a clinal variation that we do not find necessary to recognize taxonomically. We have maintained the old spelling of the name of Leschenault after advice received from the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris.
Backer & Bakh.f 1964 – In: Fl. Java: 536
Verdc. 1979 – In: Manual New Guinea Leg., Lae Bot. Bull.: 48
de Wit 1956 – In: Webbia: 280
K. & S.S. Larsen 1984: p. 123. – In: Fl. Thailand: f. 30/9-13.
Ridley 1922 – In: Fl. Malay Penins.: 619
K. & S.S. Larsen 1980: p. 106. – In: Fl. Camb., Laos & Vietnam: pl. 18/9-13