Cassia fistula

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

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  • Botanical Name : Cassia fistula L.
  • Common Name : Garmalo, Indian Laburnum, Golden Shower Tree, Amaltas
  • Plant Family : Caesalpiniaceae
  • Plant Form : Tree
  • Occurrence (Sectors) : 1-30
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Gujarat Forestry Research Foundation, Indroda Park, Ayurvedic Udyan, Sarita Udyan, Van Chetana Kendra, Infocity, Aranya Van

About Cassia fistula Plant :

  • Habit : A small tree.
  • Stem : Aerial, erect, woody, branched, cylindrical, solid and glabrous.
  • Leaves : Alternate, unipinnateparipinnately compound, stipules small, leaflets 4-8 pairs, large, ovate, entire or wavy, acute, base wedge-shaped.
  • Inflorescence : Long drooping racemes.
  • Flowers :
    • Bracteate, pedicellate, complete, zygomorphic, bisexual, yellow.
    • Calyx made up of 5 sepals, divided to the base, imbricate, oblong.
    • Corolla made up of 5 petals, clawed, obovate, veined.
    • Stamens 10, the 3 longest stamens are much curled and bear large, oblong, much curled anthers, the 4 median stamens are straight and the 3 remaining are very short and erect, staminodes. Ovary free at the bottom of the calyx, superior, monocarpellary, unilocular, ovules many, marginal placentation.
  • Fruit : A legume, long, cylindric, pendulous, indehiscent.
  • Seeds : Ovate, many, imbedded horizontally in sweet, dark-coloured pulp, separated by transverse dissepiments called phragmatas.
  • Flowering and Fruiting Time : March-July (fruiting throughout the year).
  • Significance :
    • Used for road-side plantations because of its excellent yellow shower flower.
    • Wood is used for agricultural implements.
    • The bark is used for tanning and dyeing.
    • The pulp of the fruit furnishes an excellent and safe purgative, useful in chest and heart diseases.