Senna obtusifolia (L.) H.S. Irwin & Barneby

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Senna obtusifolia

Photo: Bart Wursten
Katombora, Zambian side - 2nd embarcation point

Senna obtusifolia

Photo: Nicholas Wightman
Nsumbu National Park; Nsama Distr., Northern Province

Senna obtusifolia

Photo: Nicholas Wightman
Nsumbu National Park; Nsama Distr., Northern Province

Senna obtusifolia

Photo: Nicholas Wightman
Nsumbu National Park; Nsama Distr., Northern Province

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Cassia obtusifolia L.
Common names: American sicklepod (English)
Frequency: Frequent
Status: Probably introduced
Annual or short-lived perennial shrubby herb, up to 2 m high. Leaves paripinnate usually with 3 pairs of broadly elliptic to obovate leaflets, up to 2.9cm long and wide, mostly hairless except for the margin and midrib beneath; petiole 2.5-4 cm long; reddish gland present on the rhachis between the first pair of leaflets and sometimes a second smaller gland between the second pair. Flowers solitary or in pairs in the leaf axils, yellow to orange; stamens 10. Pod linear, 13-20 cm long, elliptic in cross-section, straight or curved.
Derivation of specific name: obtusifolia: with obtuse leaves
Habitat: In grassland, woodland and riverine areas, usually in disturbed or overgrazed soils.
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: A Pan tropical weed widespread in tropical Africa but likely of New World origin.
Botswana distribution: N
Growth form(s): Annual, perennial, shrub over 2 m.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Brummitt, R.K., Chikuni, A.C., Lock, J.M. & Polhill, R.M. (2007). Leguminosae Subfamily Caesalpinioideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(2) Pages 149 - 150.

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 51.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 150.

Drummond, R.B. (1972). A list of Rhodesian Legumes. Kirkia 8(2) Page 212. as Cassia obtusifolia

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 243. As Cassia obtusifolia

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 256. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 44.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 54.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 72.

Other sources of information about Senna obtusifolia:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: Senna obtusifolia
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Senna obtusifolia
Flora of Malawi: Senna obtusifolia
Flora of Mozambique: Senna obtusifolia
Flora of Zambia: Senna obtusifolia
Flora of Zimbabwe: Senna obtusifolia

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Senna obtusifolia
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Senna obtusifolia
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Senna obtusifolia
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Senna obtusifolia
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Senna obtusifolia
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Senna obtusifolia
JSTOR Plant Science: Senna obtusifolia
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Senna obtusifolia
Plants of the World Online: Senna obtusifolia
Tropicos: Senna obtusifolia
Wikipedia: Senna obtusifolia

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Botswana: Species information: Senna obtusifolia., retrieved 24 April 2024

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