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Cassia grandis


Cassia grandis L. f.

Family Name: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Synonyms: Cassia pachycarpa
Common Name: Horse Cassia, Kotek, Kotek Mamak, Apple-blossom Cassia, Pink Cassia, Pink Shower Tree, Coral Shower, Horse Shower, Liquorice Tree, Carao, Stinking Toe, 大果铁刀木


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Medium (16m-30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Umbrella
Maximum Height 15 m to 25 m
Tree or Palm – Trunk Diameter 0


Native Distribution Southern Mexico, Central America, Northern South America
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Riverine)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Semi-deciduous, medium-sized tree with an umbrella-shaped canopy. This species sheds it leaves during the dry season in Indo-China and Northern Malaysia, but is evergreen in Java.
Trunk Straight trunk reaches 0.6 m wide at maturity. Bark is smooth and light grey.
Foliage Alternate leaves (30 cm long, 10 cm wide) are pinnately compound with 10 - 20 pairs of leaflets. Leaflets are elliptic to oblong with rounded tips (4 cm long, 1.5 cm wide). They are green and slightly hairy on top, but reddish purple on the underside.
Flowers Flowers consist of 5 light purple sepals and 5 pinkish petals (3 cm long). Petals are red at first, but gradually become pink and then peach. They are irregular in size, slightly cup-shaped and arranged like a star. The inflorescence is an axillary raceme, with flowers borne on short stalks off one long main axis.
Fruits Fruits are long cylindrical woody pods that may be slightly curved (> 40 cm long, 5 - 6 cm wide). The pods contain a pungent, sticky liquid that creates a foul smell when the pods fall to the ground and eventually break open.
Others - Plant Morphology Propagation: Propagate by seed, cuttings or layering. Seed surface should be nicked to promote germination. This species produces suckers which can also be replanted.
Habitat Occurs in semi-deciduous forests at low altitudes (0 - 600 m). Found along rivers and on hillsides.
Cultivation Trees should be pruned regularly. This species is susceptible to bruchid beetles which attack the seeds.
Etymology The genus "Cassia" is Latin for a plant similar to cinnamon. The species epithet "grandis" is Latin for large. It refers to the tall stature of this species.
Ethnobotanical Uses Food (Herb and Spice)
[Others]: Food: The seed membrane can be processed into a chocolate-like dessert. Medicine: The pod contains a foul-smelling liquid with honey-like consistency. It is mixed with milk as a treatment for anemia, because it is rich in iron. The fruit pulp, mature pods and seeds may be consumed as a laxative. Other: The pods can be used as cattle feed. The timber is strong and used for building construction.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Fragrant (Fruits)
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses General, Focal Plant

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic (Gravity)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting, Air-Layering


Foliage Retention Drought / Semi-Deciduous
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green, Purple
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Hairy / Hirsute
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical, Oblong)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Rounded
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse
Typical Foliar Area Macrophyll ( 182.25cm2 - 1640.25 cm2 )
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 2.5 (Tree - Open Canopy)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Non Palm) Woody
Bark Colour(s) Light grey
Mature Bark Texture Smooth
Root Type Underground (Tap Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Orange, Pink, Red
Flower Symmetry Asymmetrical
Individual Flower Shape Stellate / Star-shaped
Inflorescence Type Raceme
Flowering Habit Polycarpic
Inflorescence Size Remarks Red --> Pink --> Peach

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Brown
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Indehiscent Dry Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 1495
Species ID 2788
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 28 December 2021.