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Cassia grandis - L.f.

Common Name Coral shower, Horse Cassia
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Open, brushy or forested hillsides or on thinly forested plains, often about dwellings or along roadsides and in pastures, at elevations below 900 metres[331 ].
Range S. America - Brazil, Bolivia and Peru, north to the Caribbean and through Central America to Mexico.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Cassia grandis Coral shower, Horse Cassia

Cassia grandis Coral shower, Horse Cassia


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A spectacular flowering tree that displays masses of salmon pink flowers in clusters that open from pinkish mauve buds in spring. It is one of ther first cassia to bloom in the spring. Flowers short lived.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Cassia grandis is a deciduous Tree growing to 25 m (82ft) by 25 m (82ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The flowers are pollinated by Insects.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Bactyrilobium grande Hornem. Bactyrilobium molle Schrad. Cassia brasiliana Lam. Cassia brasiliensis Buc'hoz Cassia mollis Vahl Cassia pachycarpa de Wit Cassia regia Standl. Cathartocarpus brasilianus (Lam.) Jacq. Cathartocarpus erubescens Ham. Cathartocarpus grandis (L.f.) Pers.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit
Edible Uses:

The pulp surrounding the seeds in the pods is edible. Sugary, but malodorous and has purgative properties if eaten in quantity[301 , 331 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The bitter fruit pulp is used as a laxative and purgative similar to C. fistula and reported to be more powerful[303 , 348 , 739 ]. Drunk with milk, it is said to fight anaemia and add iron to the blood[510 ]. The ripe pods and seeds are also used as a laxative[303 ]. A decoction of the leaves is used as a laxative and in the treatment of lumbago[303 ]. The fresh juice of the leaves is used externally in the treatment of ringworm[303 ]. An ointment made from lard and the crushed leaves is employed commonly in treating cutaneous diseases, especially mange and other skin affections in dogs[331 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

The Bookshop: Edible Plant Books

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Other Uses


Agroforestry Uses: A fast-growing tree it can be used as a pioneer species when re-establishing woodland[419 ]. Other Uses: The seeds are a potential commercial source of gums[303 ]. Seed gum can be used as a binder for the pharmaceutical industry[303 ]. The ashes of the wood are employed in soap-making[331 ]. The wood is brownish yellow, rather hard and heavy, coarse-textured and not durable[331 ]. A strong, multipurpose wood, it is used for building construction - mainly for internal finish, agricultural implements etc[303 , 317 , 331 , 419 ]. It is also used for fence posts[317 ]. The wood is used for fuel[303 , 331 ]. An important bee plant.

Special Uses

Carbon Farming

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Agroforestry Services: Crop shade  Agroforestry Services: Living fence  Fodder: Pod  Management: Standard  Regional Crop  Staple Crop: Sugar

A plant of the lowland moist tropics, found at elevations below 900 metres[303 , 331 ]. It is found in areas where the mean annual rainfall is in the range 1,000 - 2,800 mm, and the mean annual temperature is 21 - 26c with a mean maximum of 24 - 30c and a mean minimum of 17 - 25c[303 ]. Prefers a sunny position[419 ]. Succeeds in a wide range of soils[419 ]. The plant is common as an ornamental and garden escape in Malaysia, Java and New Guinea[310 ]. A fast-growing plant[419 ]. The fruit takes 10 - 12 months to mature from flowering[303 ].

Carbon Farming

  • Agroforestry Services: Crop shade  Plants providing crop shade especially trees.
  • Agroforestry Services: Living fence  Simply managed rows of shrubs and trees.
  • Fodder: Pod  Fodder plants with pods.
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Regional Crop  These crops have been domesticated and cultivated regionally but have not been adopted elsewhere and are typically not traded globally, Examples in this broad category include perennial cottons and many nuts and staple fruits.
  • Staple Crop: Sugar  Perennial sugar crops include sugarcane and compare favorably to annuals.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - it has a hard seedcoat and may benefit from scarification before sowing to speed up 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. Sow the seed in a partially shaded position in a nursery seedbed. A germination rate in excess of 60% can be expected, with the seed sprouting within 8 - 12 days[419 ]. When the seedlings are 4 - 6cm tall, pot them up into individual containers and they should be ready to plant out 5 - 6 months later[419 ]. Seed can be stored for prolonged periods without loss of viability[303 ]. Cuttings. In Costa Rica, the plant is propagated by means of large cuttings ('epicormic shoots'). Vertical shoots of 15 cm in diameter are cut and trimmed to a length of 2.5 metres. These are laid out in the shade for a week and then stacked vertically for three weeks. Then they are planted, with the lower ends buried 50 cm deep in the soil[303 ]. Layering.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Appleblossom cassia, Canafistula, Carao, Kalaa-phruek, Kotek mamak, Ngu-padamya, Nguzat-gyi, O moi, Pink shower, Sandal, Stinking toe, Trembalo-wang-wang

Antilles, Australia, Belize, Brazil, Central America, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, East Africa, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guiana, Guianas, Guyana, Haiti, Hawaii, Honduras, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Marquesas, Mexico, Myanmar, Nauru, Nicaragua, North America, Pacific, Panama, Puerto Rico, SE Asia, South America, Suriname, Thailand, USA, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zimbabwe.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

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Cassia sieberianaWest African LaburnumTree15.0 10-12 MLMHNDM142
Chamaecrista fasciculataGolden Cassia, Partridge peaAnnual1.0 4-8  LMHSNM001
Chamaecrista rotundifoliaRound-leaf cassiaShrub1.0 9-11 FLMSNDM004
Senna auriculataMatara Tea. Tanner's cassiaTree5.0 10-12 FLMHNDMWe232
Senna singueanaWinter cassia, Sticky podTree5.0 10-12 FLMHNM233
Senna toraStinking Cassia, Sickle sennaAnnual1.0 0-0  LMHSNM131

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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