Cassia fistula  L.

Cassia fistula  L. (CAESALPINIACEAE)
Common names
Kannada: Kakke gida.
Tulu:  Konde mara.
Tamil: Konnei.
Telugu:  Rola.
English: Indian Laburnum.

Description: Small deciduous trees, up to 8 m tall; bark smooth, pale-grey when young, rough and dark brown when old. Leaves paripinnately compound, 30-40 cm long; leaflets 4-8 pairs, ovate, 8-14 x 3 -5.5 cm, acute or cuneate at base, acute at apex; midrib densely pubescent on the underside; petiolule 0.5 – 1.0 cm long. Flowers in ca 40 cm drooping lax racemes, yellowish to bright yellow. Sepals 5, oblong, obtuse. Petals 5, subequal, obovate, shortly clawed. Stamens 10, all antheriferous, lower 3 larger. Ovary many ovuled; style incurved. Fruit an indehiscent pod, cylindrical, 60 x 2 cm, pendulous, transversely septate, black when dry. Seeds many (40-100), compressed.

Flowering : February  – April.
Fruiting : May – December.

Distribution: Indo-Malesia, China.

Uses:  Wood very hard, reddish brown, strong and durable, especially useful for house posts, bridge posts, rice pounders, wheels, ploughs and plough handles and shafts of carts. It makes excellent pickaxe and axe handles, mallet heads, tool handles etc. The bark  known as “Sumari” is used in admixture with “Aavaram” bark (Cassia auriculataL.) in tanning. Frequently planted in gardens and avenues. Root-bark, leaf, fruit pulp and seed purgative, tonic and febrifuge. In Ayurveda root, bark, leaf, flower and fruit pulp used in the treatment of leprosy, fever, cardiac diseases, jaundice, polyuria and urticaria.