Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Senna surattensis (Burm.f.) H.S.Irwin & Barneby

Species:S. surattensis
Common Names:Glaucous Cassia, Bushy Cassia


This evergreen shrub can grow up to 4 m high, becoming a small tree. Leaves are simple pinnate, 10-25 x 4-7.5 cm, with 6-10 pairs of leaflets but without a terminal one. Leaflets are oblong-elliptic and 2-4.5 x 1-2.2 cm. Flowers are bisexual, bright yellow, faintly fragrant and in axillary clusters. Pods are 7.5-15 x 1.2 cm, flat, maturing brownish, with 4-15 flat seeds and splitting open to liberate the seeds.

Bees visit the flowers to collect pollen. The high frequency buzz of the bee triggers the pollen to be shot out of the pore found at the tip of the anthers onto the abdomen of the bee. Bees thus assist in the pollination of the plant.

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


Of Southeast Asian origin, it is now commonly planted in many tropical countries.


Found throughout Singapore.

Human Uses

This attractive ornamental plant makes excellent planting between roadside trees as it is free flowering. However, it needs regular and vigorous cutback to maintain its shrubby nature.


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.

Wee, Y. C. 2003. Tropical trees and shrubs - A selection for urban plantings. Sun Tree Pub., Singapore. 392pp.

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