Cassia canca Cav.
Cassia frutescens Mill.
Cassia geminiflora Moc. & Sessé ex Collad.
Cassia geminiflora Schrank
Cassia linearis Michx.
Cassia lineata Michx.
Cassia occidentalis glabra DC.
Cassia occidentalis sophera (L.) Kuntze
Cassia patula Aiton
Cassia proboscidea Pollard
Cassia sophera L.
Cassia sophera Wall.
Chamaefistula sophera (L.) G.Don
Ditremexa sophera (L.) Britton & Rose ex Britton & P.Wilson
Senna occidentalis sophera (L.) X.Y.Zhu
Common Name: Pepper-Leaved Senna
Pepper-leaved senna is an erect shrub growing up to 2 metres tall[
The plant is gathered from the wild for local use as a food and medicine. Its leaves have shown repellent properties and it is sometimes grown amongst other crops for this purpose, It is widely grown as an ornamental[
Originally from tropical America, but now widespread throughout the tropics.
Secondary habitats such as roadsides and waste places at lower elevations in Africa[
]. Mountain slopes and roadsides in southern China[
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Prefers a deep, well-drained, moderately fertile sandy loam and a position in full sun[
The plant is sometimes a weed[
A host of bean common mosaic necrosis virus (BCMNV), Javanese root knot nematode (Meloidogyne javanica) and bean flower thrips (Megalurothrips sjostedti)[
There are conflicting reports on whether or not this tree has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, so it is unclear as to whether this tree fixes atmospheric nitrogen[
The young leaves are eaten as a vegetable[
]. Eaten in curries[
The young pods are edible[
The seeds and roasted leaves serve as a coffee substitute[
Pepper-leaved senna is sometimes used in traditional medicine. It has been reported to contain anthraquinones, including chrysophanol and emodin[
The species S. sophera, S. occidentalis, S. tora and Chamaecrista mimosoides have very similar properties and are used medicinally almost without distinction[
The seeds are used to reduce fevers[
]. The boiled seeds are used for the treatment of Bright's disease[
The leaves are anthelmintic, expectorant and febrifuge[
]. A leaf infusion is drunk as a remedy for rheumatic and inflammatory fevers, fever and malaria[
Applied externally, a decoction of the leaves is used as an eye-bath to cure conjunctivitis[
]. The juice of the leaves is used for wound healing and is applied against ringworm[
A decoction of the roots is drunk to relieve painful menstruation and is given to children to stimulate their nervous system[
An infusion of the bark is used in the treatment of diabetes[
Extracts of all plant parts are used to treat epilepsy[
Planting Senna sophera in guard rows in vegetable crops has been shown to reduce the damage caused by the giant African land snail (Achatina fulica)[
The dried leaves have been shown to have insect repellent and insecticidal properties and when placed amongst stored grain and pulses give some control of storage pests, especially of the cowpea weevil (Callosobruchus maculatus) and the lesser grain weevil (Sitophilus oryzae)[
Seed - pre-soaking for 12 hours in warm water, or abrading the seed with sand can improve germination rates and reduce germination time[
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