Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Senna spectabilis
(DC.) H.S.Irwin & Barneby, Fabaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 11 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Cassia carnaval Speg.; Cassia excelsa Schrad.; Cassia spectabilis DC.; Cassia spectabilis var. spectabilis; Senna spectabilis var. excelsa; Senna spectabilis var. spectabilis

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: mei li jue ming

English: casia amarilla

Habit:  tree

Description:  "A small, rounded deciduous tree, 7-10 m (max. 15) tall, and 30 cm in trunk diameter, with a spreading crown. Bole is short, tends to fork near the ground and is wide spreading with drooping, leafy branches. Bark smooth, grey with horizontal markings, many warts and short fissures, rougher with age with broad vertical bands of large lenticels (corky pores). Twigs stout, brown with light dots (lenticels), finely hairy; young parts softly pubescent. Leaves alternate, up to 40 cm, compound (pinnate) with 4-15 (max. 19) pairs of leaflets, each up to 7.5 cm; petiole 3-4 cm; rachis 10-20 cm (max. 35); stipules paired, threadlike, linear falcate, early caducous, about 1 cm long, without glands; leaflets narrowly elliptic, 3-7 x 1-2 cm (the lowermost petal usually much smaller and early caducous); base rounded, apex acute, mucronate; margin entire, upper surface glabrous, dull green and almost hairless, with many slightly sunken side veins; lower surface dull light green and soft hairy, sometimes hairless; petiolule short, about 3 mm long.  Inflorescence large, terminal, lateral, leafy panicles, 15-30 cm (max. 90) long, which are branched and very large. Flowers many, fragrant, composed of 5 rounded hairy bracts, which are ovate, 4-5 mm long, caducous; pedicles 2-3 mm, velutinous. Sepals orange-yellow, unequal, ovate to suborbicular; 2 outer pubescent, 3 inner glabrous, larger, 5-7 mm long. Petals yellow, spathulate, unequal, broadly to narrowly obovate, 2-3.5 cm long, anthers opening by apical pores and a slit; stamens 7 large and 3 small sterile (staminodes). Pistil slender, curved, hairless; ovary glabrous, recurved; style and stigma inconspicuous.  Fruit cylindrical or flattened pods ending in a short, narrow point, hard, not splitting open or slightly on 1 side; pendulous, more or less terete or slightly compressed, glabrous, glossy, annulate-septate, 18-25 (max. 30) x 1 cm, turning from green to black; with many cross walls about 3 mm or less apart, the seeds in separate compartments. Seeds 2.5 cm each division, 50-70, suborbicular, flattened, brown, about 5 mm in diameter; septae papery"  (Agroforestree Database).

"A shrub or tree up to 50 feet tall with leaves up to 1 foot long that lack petiolar glands and have 10-20 pairs of ovate to elliptic leaflets, each 1-3.5 inches long and 0.5-1 inch wide.  The inflorescence is a raceme 2-10 inches long bearing numerous fragrant, irregularly symmetrical flowers.  The 5 petals are rich yellow; 4 are obovate but of different lengths, and the fifth is folded in over the stamens.  The fruit is more or less cylindrical, 6-12 inches long, and has tardily lengthwise-dehiscent, papery valves.  The commonly cultivated variety is var. spectabilis; the rarely cultivated var. excelsa (Schrader) H. S. Irwin & Barneby differs slightly in having smaller and fewer pairs of leaflets and larger flowers"  (Staples & Herbst, 2005; p. 326).

Habitat/ecology:  "Tolerant of cool conditions.  Altitude: up to 2 000 m, Mean annual temperature: 15-25 deg. C, Mean annual rainfall: 800-1 000 mm.  Soil type: S. spectabilis grows in deep, moist, sandy or loamy soils but flourishes even in poor, black cotton soils"  (Agroforestree Database).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Tropical America (Staples & Herbst, 2005; p. 326).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 9693 (BISH, P, US)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 9693 (PAP)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 6617 (PAP)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Tubuai Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Raulerson, L. (2006) (p. 35)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island   Bishop Museum (U.S.A. Hawaii. Honolulu.) (1991) (voucher ID: BISH 596362)
Taxon name on voucher: Senna spectabilis (DC.) H.S.Irwin & Barneby
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawaiian Islands introduced
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 697)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island   Bishop Museum (U.S.A. Hawaii. Honolulu.) (1987) (voucher ID: BISH 535172)
Taxon name on voucher: Senna spectabilis (DC.) H.S.Irwin & Barneby
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Lau, Alex/Frohlich, Danielle (2012) (p. 17)
Voucher cited: OED 2009081801 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island   Bishop Museum (U.S.A. Hawaii. Honolulu.) (1952) (voucher ID: BISH 456421)
Taxon name on voucher: Senna spectabilis (DC.) H.S.Irwin & Barneby
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 74)
Vouchers cited: MacKee 21966, MacKee 26240
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
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) native
International Center for Research in Agroforestry (2013)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
"Cultivated in Guangdong, S. Yunnan".
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 136)
As Cassia spectabilis DC.
Colombia
Colombia
Colombia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Ecuador (Mainland)
Ecuador
Ecuador (Republic of) (continental) native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador (Republic of) introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala (Republic of) native
International Center for Research in Agroforestry (2013)
Honduras
Honduras
Honduras (Republic of) native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Honduras
Honduras
Honduras (Republic of) native
International Center for Research in Agroforestry (2013)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua (Republic of) native
International Center for Research in Agroforestry (2013)
Panama
Panama
Panama (Republic of) native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Panama
Panama
Panama (Republic of) native
International Center for Research in Agroforestry (2013)
Perú
Perú
Perú (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 79)
Casual
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of) introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)


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This page was created on 19 JUN 2009 and was last updated on 17 MAR 2010.