Senna alata (L.) Roxb.

Selected images: Click on each image to see a larger version and details of the record View all images (1)

Senna alata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Itimbiri River, DRC

Detailed records: Display species records QDS maps by: Google Maps Point records by Google Maps

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

Synonyms: Cassia alata L.
Common names: Candlestick cassia (English) Empress candle plant (English) Ringworm plant (English)
Status: Introduced and naturalised
Shrub up to c. 3 m high, sometimes taller. Branchlets olive-brown, finely ribbed. Leaves paripinnate, up to 75 cm long; leaflets in up to 12 pairs, oblong, 6-11 cm long,hairless above, sparsely and minutely hairy beneath; stipules asymmetrically triangular, persistent. Inflorescences in erect axillary dnse racemes, up to 25 cm long. Flowers golden yellow with darker veins; bracts broadly ovate, c. 2.1 cm long, orange, most prominent before the flowers open; stamens 10. Pods 4-winged, 12-16 cm long, shiny dark brown to black.
Notes: Used as a remedy against ringworm and other skin problems.
Derivation of specific name: alata: winged, referring to the pods.
Habitat: In disturbed and cultivated ground.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Native to South America. Widely cultivated in Africa for its medicinal properties and occasionally naturalized.
Malawi distribution: S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Monday 29 October 2018

Brummitt, R.K., Chikuni, A.C., Lock, J.M. & Polhill, R.M. (2007). Leguminosae Subfamily Caesalpinioideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(2) Page 152.

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 265. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Senna alata:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Senna alata
Flora of Malawi: cultivated Senna alata
Flora of Mozambique: Senna alata
Flora of Mozambique: cultivated Senna alata
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Senna alata

External websites:

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

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 alata., retrieved 18 July 2024

Site software last modified: 3 April 2018 9:36pm
Terms of use