Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Caesalpinia crista Linn.

Species:C. crista


This is a woody climber of up to 15 m long, with prickly black stems and simple pinnate leaves 10-30 cm long. There are 2-4 pairs of opposite, 2.5-8 cm long side-stalks, each with 1-3 pairs oopposite leaflets. Inflorescence 20-40 cm long, with bisexual, bright yellow flowers. The fruits are oblong pods with flat, large, hard seeds within.

Read more about the Fabales order.
Read more about the Fabaceae family.


From India and Sri Lanka, eastward to the Ryukyu Islands, throughout Southeast Asia to Queensland and New Caledonia.


Admiralty Park, Pasir Ris Park, Pulau Tekong, Pulau Ubin, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

General Biology

Found near sandy beaches or at the edge of mangroves.

Human Uses

The plant is known for its anthelmintic properties, thus it is used in traditional medicine against parasitic worms. It also has anti-malarial activity.

Extracts from the leaves of this plant also possess antioxidative properties, displaying potential for anti-cancer drugs.


Chong, K. Y., H. T. W. Tan & R. T. Corlett, 2009. A Checklist of the Total Vascular Plant Flora of Singapore: Native, Naturalised and Cultivated Species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, Singapore. 273 pp.

Jabbar, A., M. A. Zaman, Z. Iqbal, M. Yaseen & A. Shamim, 2007. Anthelmintic activity of Chenopodium album (L.) and Caesalpinia crista (L.) against trichostrongylid nematodes of sheep. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 114(1): 86–91.

Kalauni, S. K., S. Awale, Y. Tezuka, A. H. Banskota, T. Z. Linn, P. B. S. Asih, D. Syafruddin & S. Kadota, 2006. Antimalarial activity of Cassane- and Norcassane-type diterpenes from Caesalpinia crista and their structure-activity relationship. Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 29(5): 1050–1052.

Keng, H., 1990. The Concise Flora of Singapore: Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons. Singapore University Press, Singapore. 222 pp.

Mandal, S., B. Hazra. R. Sarkar, S. Biswas & N. Mandal, 2011. Assessment of the antioxidant and reactive oxygen species scavenging activity of the methanolic extract of Caesalpinia crista leaf. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2011: 1–11.

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