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Useful Tropical Plants

Chamaecrista absus

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

Fabaceae


This name is not universally accepted. The Flora of Tropical Africa treats this species as Cassia absus L., and treats Chamaecrista absus as a synonym[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

+ Synonyms

Cassia absus L.

Cassia babylonica Schrank

Cassia coccinea Wall.

Cassia exigua Roxb.

Cassia foliolis L.

Cassia thonningii DC.

Cassia viscida Zoll.

Grimaldia absus (L.) Britton & Rose

Grimaldia absus (L.) Link

Grimaldia opifera Schrank

Senna absus (L.) Roxb.

Senna exigua Roxb.

Senna quadrifolia Burm.

Common Name: Pig's Senna

Chamaecrista absus
Flowering stem
Photograph by: J.M.Garg
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
Chamaecrista absus Chamaecrista absus Chamaecrista absus

General Information

Pig's ear is a sparsely-branched, erect or sometimes more or less clambering, annual plant growing up to 1 metre tall[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].
Often found as a weed of cultivation, it is commonly harvested from the wild and used in traditional medicine in both Asia and Africa[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. It is occasionally cultivated for medicinal use and the seeds sold in local markets[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].
A common and widespread species, it is not seen as being under threat. It is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.
,
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/

Range

Widely spread through the tropical regions of Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Habitat

Ruderal localities, old farmland, along roadsides, in grassy savannah, in open localities in deciduous bushland, on granite outcrops and on sand dunes, from sea-level up to 1,700 metres[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *
HabitAnnual
Height1.00 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

Plants are well adapted to the semi-arid tropics[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The risk of this species becoming a weed should be taken into account before introducing it to areas where it does not occur naturally[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
755
Title
Nodulation Plants in GRIN Taxonomy
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ars-grin.gov/~sbmljw/cgi-bin/taxnodul.pl?language=en
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database listing plants that have either positive or negative reports on root and stem nodulation with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
].

Edible Uses

Seeds - boiled or roasted[
1587
Title
Genetic Resources of Under-exploited Legumes/Tribal Pulses of Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu
Publication
J. Econ. Taxon. Bot. Vol. 35 No.2 (2011)
Author
Kalidass C. & Mohan V.R.
Publisher
 
Year
2011
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Medicinal

Pig's ear is often used in traditional medicine in both Africa and Asia. Research has shown the presence of several medically active compounds including alkaloids, anthraquinones and flavonoids[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
All parts of the plant contain the alkaloids chaksine and isochaksine. Chaksine has antifungal, hypotensive and antibacterial activity, suppresses the respiratory, vasomotor and heat-regulating centres and inhibits muscle activity and the sense of balance. Isochaksine has similar activities to chaksine but in general at higher dose[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The anthraquinones chrysophanol and emodin, found in the roots, have laxative activities[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Flavonoids in the seeds have shown anti-tumour activities in vitro, and some also in vivo. Sugars in the seed include galactomannan, which induces the mucilaginous properties of the endosperm[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The dried and powdered leaves, a leaf extract or occasionally the pounded ripe fruits are widely applied to eczema, ringworm, wounds, sores, abscesses, ulcers and venereal inflammations[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The fresh plant is pounded and mixed with butter for use as a suppository against haemorrhoids[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
A tea of the leaves is considered depurative[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Mixed with Heterotis rotundifolia, the leaves are pulped and diluted with palm wine to promote conception in women[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. In part the mix is ingested, and in part it is rubbed on the underbelly[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

In many parts of Africa and Asia the powdered seeds or seed extracts are sprinkled on the eye to treat eye diseases such as conjunctivitis and cataracts[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The powdered seeds are also taken to treat diabetes and chlorosis[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

A decoction of the roots, combined with palm wine and chillies, is used as a purgative to expel worms[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. An infusion of the roots is taken to treat stomach-ache299].

Different plant parts are also taken in infusion as an aphrodisiac[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant is sometimes grown as a green manure in maize[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Other Uses

The leaves yield a weak yellow dye[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Propagation

Seed - to increase germination nicking or abrasion of the seeds is recommended. A temperature of 24°C is optimum for germination[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Seed - it has a hard seedcoat and may benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing.
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-08-21. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Chamaecrista+absus>

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