Cassia fistula

Cassia fistula L.

Common Names: Golden Shower, Pudding Pipe Tree

Family: Fabaceae

Habit: Cassia fistula grows as a tree up to 12 m in height. The bipinnately compound leaves are arranged alternately. The petioles have a slightly swollen pulvinus. The leaflets are in 4 – 8 pairs. Each leaflet to 3 cm in length, obovate, with a round to acute leaf apex, with an entire margin.

The complete, perfect, zygomorphic flowers are arranged in axillary racemes. The calyx has 5 greenish, unfused, oblong sepals. The corolla has 5 bright yellow unfused petals, none of which form a keel.  There are 10 stamens (3 long and fertile, 4 short and fertile and 3 sterile).  The ovary is superior and forms an elongate, pendulous, many-seeded dark brown shiny legume at maturity up to 60 cm in length and 3 cm in width.

Habitat: Cassia fistula grows in Human Altered environments (yards and gardens).

Distribution: Cassia fistula is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago but does occur on many of the island groupings.  It is native to Southeast Asia but is grown around the world in tropical and subtropical areas.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Cassia fistula is not known to be used in the Lucayan Archipelago.  It is grown as an ornamental for its showy flowers and interesting dangling fruits.