cassia auriculata

Senna auriculata

Senna auriculata is a legume tree in the subfamily Caesalpinioideae. It is commonly known by its local names ranawara or avaram, or the English version Avaram Senna.

It occurs in the dry regions of India and Sri Lanka. It is common along the sea coast and the dry zone in Sri Lanka


Avaram Senna is a much branched shrub with smooth cinnamon brown bark and closely pubescent brachlets.

The leaves are alternate, stipulate, paripinnate compound, very numerous, closely placed, rachis 8.8-12.5 cm long, narrowly furrowed, slender, pubescent, with an erect linear gland between the leaflets of each pair, leaflets 16-24, very shortly stalked 2-2.5 cm long 1-1.3 cm broad, slightly overlapping, oval oblong, obtuse, at both ends, mucronate, glabrous or minutely downy, dull green, paler beneath, stipules very large, reniform-rotund, produced at base on side of next petiole into a filliform point and persistent.

Its flowers are irregular, bisexual, bright yellow and large (nearly 5 cm across), the pedicels glabrous and 2.5 cm long. The racemes are few-flowered, short, erect, crowded in axils of upper leaves so as to form a large terminal inflorescence (leaves except stipules are suppressed at the upper nodes). The 5 sepals are distinct, imbricate, glabrous, concave, membranous and unequal, with the two outer ones much larger than the inner ones. The petals also number 5, are free, imbricate, crisped along the margin, bright yellow veined with orange. The anthers number 10 and are separate, with the three upper stamens barren; the ovary is superior, unilocular, with marginal ovules.

The fruit is a short legume, 7.5-11 cm long, 1.5 cm broad, oblong, obtuse, tipped with long style base, flat, thin, papery, undulately crimpled, pilose, pale brown. 12-20 seeds per fruit are carried each in its separate cavity.


Senna auriculata is suitable for landscaping roadways and home gardens. It tolerates drought and dry conditions, but not much cold. The flowers in racemes are also attractive.

This plant is said to contain a cardiac glucoside (sennapicrin) and sap, leaves and bark yield contain oxymethylanthraqunone while the latter contains tannins.

The root is used in decoctions against fevers, diabetes, diseases of urinary system and constipation. The leaves have laxative properties. The dried flowers and flower buds are used as a substitute for tea in case of diabetes patents. It is also supposed to improve the complexion in women .The powdered seed is also used in diabetes and applied to the eye, in case of chronic purulent conjunctivitis. In Africa the bark and seeds are said to give relief in rheumatism, eye diseases, gonorrhea, diabetes and gout.




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  • (1998): A selection of indigenous trees for traditional landscapes in Sri Lanka. Deveco Designers and publishers (Pvt) Ltd.
  • (1981a): Medicinal plants (indigenous and exotic) used in Ceylon (Part I). The National Science Council of Sri Lanka, Colombo 7.
  • (1981b): Medicinal plants (indigenous and exotic) used in Ceylon (Part II). The National Science Council of Sri Lanka, Colombo 7.
  • (1981c): Medicinal plants (indigenous and exotic) used in Ceylon (Part III). The National Science Council of Sri Lanka, Colombo 7.
  • (1982): Medicinal plants (indigenous and exotic) used in Ceylon (Part IV). The National Science Council of Sri Lanka, Colombo 7.
  • (1992): Medicinal plants (indigenous and exotic) used in Ceylon (Part V). The National Science Council of Sri Lanka, Colombo 7.
  • (1983): Landscape Plants in Design: A Photographic Guide . AVI Publishing Company, Westport, Connecticut. ISBN 0870554298
  • (2002): Compendium of Medicinal plants. A Sri Lankan study (Vol. 1+2). Ayurvedic Department, Sri Lanka.
  • (1999): Field Guide on Medicinal Plants. Forest Department, Andra Pradesh, India.
  • (2007): USDA Plants Profile: Cassia auriculata Retrieved 2007-DEC-20.

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