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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa


Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I > Fabales > Family: Fabaceae > Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae

About 30 species, found in tropical regions, with three species native to southern Africa. In addition, 13 species are cultivated in the region as garden and street-side trees. 

Species native to southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI), Flora of Zimbabwe and Flora of Mozambique.

Cassia abbreviata

Cassia afrofistula

Recorded from Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Cassia rotundifolia

[= Chamaecrista rotundifolia]

Recorded from Zimbabwe.

Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Cassia australis

Native to Australia.


Cassia barclayana

Native to Australia.


Cassia brewsteri (Cigar cassia, Leichardt bean)


Cassia eremophila

Native to Australia.


Cassia ferruginea

Native to South America.


Cassia fistula (Golden shower)

Indigenous from India through to SE Asia.


Cassia grandis (Horse cassia)

Indigenous from Mexico to Peru.


Cassia javanica (Pink shower)

Indigenous from India to New Guinea.


Cassia latipetiolata

Native to Peru.


Cassia leiandra

Native to Brazil.


Cassia nodosa

Native to Malaysia and Indonesia.


Cassia renigera (Burmese shower)

Indigenous from India to New Guinea.


Cassia roxburghii (Red cassia)

Native to India and Sri Lanka.


A number of species previously placed in the genus Cassia are now in the genus Senna.


  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.