Siamese cassia


Siamese cassia, or yellow cassia, is native to Southeast Asia, from Myanmar to Malaysia, but it has been planted throughout the world for ornament, shade, and reforestation. It can reach a height of 60 feet, with a trunk 1.5 feet in diameter. The leaves are slightly over 1 foot long and are composed of up to twenty-two leaflets, each up to 3 inches long. Flowers are about 1 inch wide and are grouped in erect terminal clusters. Fruits are flat pods up to 10 inches long that open lengthwise along both sides to liberate the seeds. It flowers and produces fruits throughout the year. The wood is blackish and is used for furniture, turnery, string instruments and crafts. The generic name derives from an Arab word used for a thorny bush. The species name refers to its geographic origin, Siam being an old name for Thailand.

The photographed tree is east of the Sánchez Building and was planted after 1954 by Hipólito Irizarry. There are other trees east of the Physics Building, around the residence occupied by the Geology Museum, near the northwest corner of the old athletic field, southwest of the Biology Building, and west of the Chemistry Building.

Senna siamea (Fabaceae)