Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Senna bicapsularis
(L.) Roxb., Fabaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 8 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Cassia bicapsularis L.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: shuang jia jue ming

English: Christmas bush, moneybush, rambling cassia, yellow candlewood

Habit:  shrub

Description:  "Spreading shrub up to 3.5 m high; bark lenticellate, red-brown to gray, glabrous throughout or with some scattered long hairs on very young growth.  Stipules lanceolate to subulate, caducous.  Leaves somewhat succulent, 2.6-7 (9) cm; glandular colleters in axils; pulvinus sensitive.  Petiolar gland ovate or clavate, obtuse, greenish, stipitate or nearly sessile, situated between the first pair of leaflets.  Leaflets mostly 3 (2-4) pairs, obovate to oblanceolate, accrescent distally, the largest 1.6-4.5 x (0.6) 1.1-2.3 cm, imbricate in sleep; base asymmetric, rounded to cuneate, apex truncate to occasionally retuse, sometimes mucronulate.  Raceme terminating lateral branches, few-flowered; bracts lance-acuminate, caducous.  Pedicels 1-2 (5) mm, surrounded at base by gold-brown shining glandular hairs, clearly articulate with the 1-2 (3) mm obconic hypanthium.  Sepals obovate to oblanceolate, green with pale margins, ciliate, the abaxial one the longest, (7) 8-12 mm.  Corolla zygomorphic; petals cuneate at base, oblanceolate, the longest (10) 12-16 mm.  Fertile stamens 6, anthers of the 2 long abaxial stamens attenuate to a short truncate beak, the thecae confluent to form a single apical pore; the central abaxial stamen shorter, sterile, but the anther otherwise similar in form to those of the 4 still-shorter median anthers, these sagittate at the base, the thecae confluent above to form a U-shaped pore terminating a short obliquely truncate beak.  Staminodes Y-shaped, winged between the branches of the Y.  Ovary glabrous, the style recurved.  Legume turgid, nearly terete except where constricted by abortion of ovules, 8-18.5 x 0.9-2 cm, stipitate, the stipe 3-6 mm; the sutures not thickened, mature valves pale brown, papery dehiscent.  Seeds biseriate, horizontal, embedded in pulp, 4-6 mm long, smooth, dark brown, lustrous, exareolate" (Howard, 1988; pp. 416-417).

"Glabrous, leaflets 6-8, stamens very unequal, pod thick terete, seeds biseriate. A shrub, with virgate woody branchesLeaves distinctly petioled; leaflets green, membranous, obtuse, 3/4 1/2 in.; stipules small, subulate, caducous.  Racemes copious, corymbose, as long as the leaves.  Flowers middle-sized, bright yellow.  Pods membranous, curved, sausage-shaped, 1/2 ft. long, 1/2 in. thick, the sutures very narrow" (Hooker, 1879; p. 263).

Habitat/ecology:  Woodland, riparian habitats, coastal bush.  This shrub forms extensive and dense thickets and climbs over native vegetation, impeding growth and regeneration of native species.  Extensive thickets affect wildlife by reducing habitats and restricting access to water"  (Weber, 2003; p. 398).  "A widely distributed weedy shrub" (Wiggins & Porter, 1971; pp. 602-603).

In Australia, "naturalised in highly disturbed urban bushland and farmland throughout much of coastal south-east Queensland and northern New South Wales, primarily along roadsides and the banks of watercourses" (Csurhes & Edwards, 1998, p. 130, but see below regarding presence in Australia).  In New Caledonia, "parfois planté dans les jardins, souvent naturalisé en terrains vagues" (MacKee, 1994; p. 73).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  "Perhaps native in south and eastern Caribbean, adventitive elsewhere in coastal areas throughout the New and Old World tropics" (Howard, 1988; pp. 416-417).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Îles Loyauté (Loyalty Islands) introduced
invasive
Tassin, Jacques (2005)
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Île Lifou introduced
invasive
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 73)
Voucher cited: Sarasin 810 (Z)
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Île Maré introduced
invasive
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 73)
Voucher cited: Sarasin 448 (Z)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands uncertain if native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2011)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
Tassin, Jacques (2005)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 73)
Vouchers cited: de Pompéry s.n., Franc 1360, Barrau A 1, MacKee 4468, MacKee 18111, MacKee 33651
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1982) (voucher ID: PTBG 31573)
Taxon name on voucher: Senna bicapsularis L.
Papua New Guinea
Bismarck Archipelago
Bismarck Archipelago cultivated
Peekel, P. G. [translated by E. E. Henty] (1984) (p. 219)
Ornamental shrub.
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Chile (continental)
Chile
Chile (Republic of) uncertain if native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2011)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
"Cultivated in Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan".
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (pp. 134-135)
As Cassia bicapsularis L. Ornamental, green manure.
Colombia
Colombia
Colombia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Colombia
Colombia
Colombia (Republic of) uncertain if native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2011)
Ecuador (Mainland)
Ecuador
Ecuador (Republic of) (continental) uncertain if native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2011)
Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala (Republic of) uncertain if native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2011)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2011)
Panama
Panama
Panama (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Panama
Panama
Panama (Republic of) uncertain if native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2011)
Perú
Perú
Perú (Republic of) uncertain if native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2011)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Canary Islands
Canary Islands
Canary Islands introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized

Additional information:
Additional online information about Senna bicapsularis is available from the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR).

Information about Senna bicapsularis as a weed (worldwide references) may be available from the Global Compendium of Weeds (GCW).

Taxonomic information about Senna bicapsularis may be available from the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).

References:

Charles Darwin Foundation. 2008. Database inventory of introduced plant species in the rural and urban zones of Galapagos. Charles Darwin Foundation, Galapagos, Ecuador.

Charles Darwin Research Station. 2005. CDRS Herbarium records.

Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. 1998. Potential environmental weeds in Australia: Candidate species for preventative control. Canberra, Australia. Biodiversity Group, Environment Australia. 208 pp.

Hooker, J. D. 1875. The Flora of British India. L. Reeve & Co. 7 vol. 1875-1897.

Howard, Richard A. 1988. Flora of the Lesser Antilles: Leeward and Windward Islands. Vol. 4, Dicotyledoneae-Part 1. Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University. 673 pp.

ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre. 2011. International Legume Database & Information Service. Online searchable database.

MacKee, H. S. 1994. Catalogue des plantes introduites et cultivées en Nouvelle-Calédonie. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, 164 p.

Peekel, P. G. [translated by E. E. Henty]. 1984. Flora of the Bismarck Archipelago for naturalists. Office of Forests, Division of Botany, Lae, Papua New Guinea. 638 pp. ISBN 9980-66-000-7.

Swarbrick, John T. 1997. Weeds of the Pacific Islands. Technical paper no. 209. South Pacific Commission, Noumea, New Caledonia. 124 pp.

Tassin, Jacques. 2005. Jacques Tassin (IAC-CIRAD), personal communication.

U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. 2013. National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online searchable database.

Weber, Ewald. 2003. Invasive plants of the World. CABI Publishing, CAB International, Wallingford, UK. 548 pp.

Wiggins, I. L./Porter, D. M. 1971. Flora of the Galapágos Islands. Stanford University Press. 998 pp.

Wu, Te-lin. 2001. Check List of Hong Kong Plants. Hong Kong Herbarium and the South China Institute of Botany. Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department Bulletin 1 (revised). 384 pp.

Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong. 2013. Flora of China (online resource).


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

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This page was created on 22 SEP 2002 and was last updated on 20 JAN 2011.