Senna occidentalis (L.) Link

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Senna occidentalis

Photo: Bart Wursten
Umvumvumvu River Gorge

Senna occidentalis

Photo: Bart Wursten
Umvumvumvu River Gorge

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Cassia occidentalis L.
Common names: Coffee senna (English)
Status: Introduced
Erect annual or short-lived perennial herb, sometimes woody near the base. Leaves pinnate with 4 to 6 pairs of ovate-elliptic pointed leaflets, glabrous; margins ciliolate. Flowers in small clusters in the upper leaf axils, yellow. Pods flattened, mostly semi-erect.
Derivation of specific name: occidentalis: occidental, western
Habitat: In disturbed places, often on roadsides and especially rural areas.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:Nov-Apr
Worldwide distribution: Native from Mexico to Tropical America, but now a pantropical introduction.
Malawi distribution: N,C,S
Growth form(s): Annual, perennial, shrub over 2 m.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Catopsilia florella (Food plant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Brummitt, R.K., Chikuni, A.C., Lock, J.M. & Polhill, R.M. (2007). Leguminosae Subfamily Caesalpinioideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(2) Pages 152 - 154. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 267. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 51.

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 32.

Drummond, R.B. (1972). A list of Rhodesian Legumes. Kirkia 8(2) Page 212. as Cassia occidentalis

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 243. As Cassia occidentalis

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 44.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 72.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 209.

Other sources of information about Senna occidentalis:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Senna occidentalis
Flora of Caprivi: Senna occidentalis
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Senna occidentalis
Flora of Mozambique: Senna occidentalis
Flora of Zambia: Senna occidentalis
Flora of Zimbabwe: Senna occidentalis

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Senna occidentalis
African Plant Database: Senna occidentalis
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Senna occidentalis
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Senna occidentalis
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Senna occidentalis
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Senna occidentalis
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Senna occidentalis
JSTOR Plant Science: Senna occidentalis
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Senna occidentalis
Plants of the World Online: Senna occidentalis
Tropicos: Senna occidentalis
Wikipedia: Senna occidentalis

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Senna occidentalis., retrieved 18 April 2024

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