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(Cassia fistula, fam. Caesalpiniaceae)

Cassia fistula Cassia fistula Cassia fistula Cassia fistula Cassia fistula
Semi-deciduous tree to 8m or more.
Form or habit: Tree
Leaf:Compound Unknown

Large pinnate leaves 450mm long, 2-7 pairs of oblong to ovate leaflets, 50-90 x 40-90mm, increasing in size towards apex.

Flower conspicuous: Conspicuous
Flower colour: Yellow
Flower description:Golden orchid-like, borne in large pendulous sprays of 20-75 flowers; sweetly perfumed.
Fruit conspicuous: Conspicuous
Fruit colour: Brown
Fruit: Dry
Fruit description: Cylindrical indehiscent dark brown woody pods often exceeding 300mm in length. Some old pods retained on tree for most of the year. Seeds, around 8mm diameter, arranged horizontally and embedded in blackish pulp that gives off a strong smell of cascara. Produces large quantities of viable seed.
Food source for:
Toxicity:No toxicity known
Origin:South-east Asia
Weed status:Environmental/garden escapee
Notes:Spread by: Garden waste, forest mulch; pods probably also moved by flood waters.
Invades: Widespread in tropics, particularly close to habitation.
Notes: Introduced as a garden ornamental. Has long history of medicinal use; the pith from the pods yields a purgative medicine.
Information sources: Mackay Regional Pest Management Group (2011) Weeds of the Mackay Whitsunday Region.

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