Cassia Occidentalis

Cassia Occidentalis Plant Information


Cassia Occidentalis grows in the following 21 states:

Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia

The plant is reported to be poisonous to cattle. The plant contains anthraquinones. The roots contain emodin and the seeds contain chrysarobin (1,8-dihydroxy-3-methyl-9-anthrone) and N-methylmorpholine.The species was formerly placed in the genus Cassia.Vernacular names include: auaukoi in Hawaii, septicweed,coffee senna, coffeeweed, Mogdad coffee, negro-coffee, senna coffee, Stephanie coffee, stinkingweed or styptic weed.Senna occidentalis is a pantropical plant species.

In Jamaica the seeds are roast, brew and serve as tea to treat Diuretic, hemorrhoids, gout, laxative, rheumatism, diabetes, rheumatis.
Mogdad coffee seeds can be roasted and used as a substitute for coffee. They have also been used as an adulterant for coffee. There is apparently no caffeine in mogdad coffee.
Despite the claims of being poisonous, the leaves of this plant, Dhiguthiyara in the Maldivian language, have been used in the diet of the Maldives for centuries in dishes such as mas huni and also as a medicinal plant.
In parts of India, consumption of the plant has caused the poisoning deaths of children due to Acute HME syndrome. Once the plant was identified as the cause, the number of deaths plummeted.
C. occidentalis L. Sp. Pl. 377. 1753; DC. Prodr. 2: 497. 1825; Baker, in Hook. F. Fl. Brit. Ind. 2: 262, 1878; Heinig, Enum. 401. 1907; Ohashi in Hara, Fl. E. Himal. 144. 1966; Deb. D.B. Fl. Tripura State 1: 119. 1981; C. planisiliqua L. Sp. Pl. 377. 1753; Senna occidentalis Roxb. Fl. Ind. 2: 343. 1832.
Plant:- Annual undershrub, subglabrous, foetid, few feet high.
Leaves:- Alternate, compound, paripinnate; rachis channelled, presence of a gland at the base of the rachis; stipulate, stipules obliquely cordate, acuminate; leaflets 4-5 pairs, size (3.7cm X 2cm- 7cm X 3.5cm),obate to oblong- lanceolate; acuminate, margin ciliate, glabrous or pubescence.
Inflorescence:- Axillary corymb and terminal panicle.
Flowers:- Complete, bisexual, slightly irregular, zygomorphic, pentamerous, hypogynous, pedicelate; bractate, bracts white with pinkish tinge, thin, ovate- acuminate, caducous; yellow.
Calyx:- Sepals 5, gamosepalous, tube short, 5 lobed, obtuse, glabrous, imbricate, odd sepal is anterior.
Corolla:- Petals 5, polypetalous, alternisepalous, sub-equal, with distinct claw, conspicuously veined, ascending imbricate, posterior petal is the innermost.
Androecium:- Stamens 10, free, unequal in size, 7 perfect and 3 reduced to staminode, filaments unequal, anther dithecous, basifixed, introrse and dehiscing by terminal pores.
Gynoecium:- Carpel 1, ovary superiour, unilocular, many ovuled, marginal placentation; style simple; stigma terminate, capitate.
Fruit:- Pod, dehiscent, woody, 12.5cm X 0.7cm, glabrous, recurved, subcompressed, distinctly torulose, 23-30 seeded.

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