Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Senna occidentalis
(coffee senna)



Senna occidentalis (coffee senna)


Top of page
Senna occidentalis (coffee senna); leaves, flowers and fruits.
TitleLeaves, flowers and fruits
CaptionSenna occidentalis (coffee senna); leaves, flowers and fruits.
Copyright©Kurt G. Kissmann
Senna occidentalis (coffee senna); leaves, flowers and fruits.
Leaves, flowers and fruitsSenna occidentalis (coffee senna); leaves, flowers and fruits.©Kurt G. Kissmann


Top of page

Preferred Scientific Name

  • Senna occidentalis (L.) Link

Preferred Common Name

  • coffee senna

Other Scientific Names

  • Cassia caroliniana Walter
  • Cassia ciliata Raf.
  • Cassia falcata L.
  • Cassia foetida Pers.
  • Cassia laevigata sensu auct..
  • Cassia macradenia Colladon
  • Cassia obliquifolia Schrank
  • Cassia occidentalis L.
  • Cassia planisiliqua L.
  • Cassia plumieri DC.
  • Ditremexa occidentalis (L.) Britton & Wilson

International Common Names

  • English: Negro coffee; septicweed; wild French guava
  • Spanish: bricho; caffecillo; frijolillo; guanina; mezquitillo; rematilla; taperiba
  • French: bentamaré; café bâtard; café des noirs; café nège; casse-café; cassie puante; herbe puante
  • Chinese: jue ming zi; wang jiang nan
  • Portuguese: cana fista; cana fistula

Local Common Names

  • Argentina: cafeíllo; cafetón
  • Australia: ant bush; arsenic bean
  • Bolivia: mamuri
  • Brazil: fedegosa; fedegoso; mata pasta; mata patinho; paramarioba
  • Cambodia: phak ngot; sânndaèk khmaôch
  • Colombia: aya-poroto; café de bonpland; hedionda
  • Cuba: sen; yerba hedionda
  • East Africa: mnuka uvundo; mwingajini
  • Ethiopia: assenmeka; hawacho; karrarate
  • Germany: Stink- Kassie
  • Guam: amot-tumaga
  • India: arimarda; bari kasondi; gajarság; hant-thenga; kasamarda; kasivda; kasondi; mattantakara; nattam takarai; payaverai; rankasvinda; ran-takda; vimarda
  • Indonesia: kasingsat; kopi andelan; menting
  • Jamaica: piss-a-bed; stinking weed; wild coffee
  • Japan: habuso
  • Korea, Republic of: soggjolmjong
  • Mauritius: casse puante
  • Mexico: bataban; candelilla chica; cornezuelo; frijol cimarrón; frijol del monte; frijolillo; habilla bicho; vainillo
  • Peru: achuporoto; retamilla
  • Philippines: andadasi; balatong aso; duda; kabal-kabalan; katangan-aso; tambalisa
  • Puerto Rico: casia; casia glauca; hedionda
  • Seychelles: casse puante; stinking weed
  • South Africa: Ikhoshokhosho; isinyembane; stinking weed; umnwanda-nyoka; wild coffee
  • Tanzania: komanguku; kundekunde; mwitanzoka; omwetanjoka; segusse
  • Trinidad and Tobago: negro coffee; wild coffee
  • Uganda: etiatia; kasagaly ansasi; kwiniini omuganda; mutanjoka; mwitanzoka; namaseze; omuhanga

EPPO code

  • CASOC (Cassia occidentalis)

Summary of Invasiveness

Top of page

S. occidentalis is an annual to short lived perennial herb to small shrub with a pantropical distribution (PROTA, 2016). It is reported as invasive throughout Oceania, and various countries in Asia and Africa, where is reported as introduced (BioNET-EAFRINET, 2016; PIER, 2016). Within its native range S. occidentalis is listed as invasive for Cuba by Oviedo Prieto et al. (2012).

This species is recognised as an invasive herb or a problematic weed that affects crops and plantations all over its range (PIER, 2016). For example, in the Northern Territory, Australia, it is a class B declared weed, i.e. spread to be controlled in all of the Territory (Flanagan, 1998). This weed is a problem in seven states of the USA and is increasing in eight others (Teem et al., 1980). Its ability to colonize a wide range of climatic and edaphic conditions is epitomized by its occurrence in East Africa where it is found at altitudes of 0-1740 metres above sea level (Brenan, 1967). Though probably less important than the related weeds, S. obtusifolia and S. tora, S. occidentalis has the potential to become a weed of more widespread significance. In the USA it is on the regulated invasive list for Florida (Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States, 2016).

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Fabales
  •                         Family: Fabaceae
  •                             Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
  •                                 Genus: Senna
  •                                     Species: Senna occidentalis

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page

The original genus name Cassia applied by Linnaeus is from the Greek 'kasia', derived by Dioscorides (first century AD) from the Hebrew 'quetsi'oth', denoting 'fragrant shrubs'; occidentalis is Latin, meaning 'of the west', indicating that the plant is a native of the western hemisphere, principally the Americas (Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992).

There were over 600 species of the genus Cassia before its division into three separate genera, Cassia, Chamaecrista and Senna (Robertson, 1989). Cassia occidentalis L.was transferred to the genus Senna and is now accepted as Senna occidentalis. According to numerical cluster analysis of seed proteins, Cassia occidentalis was placed within the subgenus Senna by Ghareeb et al. (1999). Likewise, the common weeds Cassia obtusifolia  and C.tora are also now known as Senna obtusifolia and S. tora, respectively. The taxonomic significance of foliar epidermal features (stomata, epidermal cells and trichomes) of S. occidentalis and related species are described by Barukial et al. (1993) and Kotresha and Seetharam (2000). However, references to many Senna spp. as Cassia spp. are still found in the literature to the present day.


Top of page

The morphology of S. occidentalis as described by Parsons and Cuthbertson (1992) for Australia and Henderson (2001) for South Africa, closely matches that given for the plant in other parts of the world. It is a low growing, sparsely branching annual or short-lived perennial plant up to 0.5-2 m high and having a characteristic foetid odour. The stems are reddish purple, erect, 4-angled when young, becoming rounded with age. The plant has a robust primary root with several laterals. The leaves are pale green on reddish stalks; alternate, pinnate, with 3-5 (sometimes 6) pairs of opposite ovate to lanceolate-elliptic leaflets, 25-100 mm long, 20-30 mm wide, rounded at the base. A conspicuous, dark-coloured gland occurs at the base of the petiole (leaf stalk) but not on the stalks of the leaflets. The flowers are pale to bright yellow, 20-30 mm in diameter, in 2-6 flowered axils of the upper leaves; sepals are red veined; 5 petals per flower, the 2 anterior ones are smaller than the others; fertile stamens 6, the two basal ones longer than the rest, 4 infertile stamens are reduced to tiny petal-like staminodes. Further descriptions of the floral anatomy of S. occidentalis and nine other species of Cassia are given by Chhavi-Thakur and Thakur (1988). The fruit is a dark brown, flattened, sickle-shaped pod with paler stripes along the edges when mature. Pods are 75-130 mm long, 8-10 mm wide, containing a single row of 25-35 seeds. The seeds are dark brown, flattened, hard, 5 mm long and 3 mm wide.

Plant Type

Top of page Annual
Seed propagated


Top of page

S. occidentalis has a pantropical distribution and probably originated in tropical America (Encyclopedia of Life, 2016). The species is now found in Asia, Africa, North America, Central America, the Caribbean, South America and Oceania (See Distribution Table for details; Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012; PROSEA, 2016; PROTA, 2016; PIER, 2016; Royal Museum for Central Africa, 2016).

Distribution Table

Top of page

The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes


BangladeshPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2016Naturalised.
BhutanPresentIntroducedGrierson and Long, 1987; USDA-ARS, 2016
British Indian Ocean TerritoryPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2002
Brunei DarussalamPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2016Naturalised.
CambodiaPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979; ILDIS, 2002; USDA-ARS, 2016
Chagos ArchipelagoPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2016Diego García Island
ChinaPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979; USDA-ARS, 2016
-Hong KongPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979; PIER, 2016
Christmas Island (Indian Ocean)PresentIntroducedPIER, 2016; USDA-ARS, 2016Naturalised.
Cocos IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2016
IndiaWidespreadIntroducedHolm et al., 1979; IRRI, 1989; USDA-ARS, 2016
-Andaman and Nicobar IslandsPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2016Naturalised.
-Andhra PradeshPresentIntroducedRao, 1987
-GujaratPresentIntroduced Invasive Patel and Yadav, 1991
-LakshadweepPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2002
-SikkimPresentIntroducedGrierson and Long, 1987
IndonesiaWidespreadIntroducedHolm et al., 1979; ILDIS, 2002
-Irian JayaPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2002; USDA-ARS, 2016
-JavaPresentIntroducedBacker, 1936; USDA-ARS, 2016
-KalimantanPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2016Naturalised.
-MoluccasPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2016Naturalised.
-Nusa TenggaraPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2016Naturalised.
-SumatraPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2016Naturalised.
IranPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2002; USDA-ARS, 2016
IraqPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979; USDA-ARS, 2016
IsraelPresentIntroduced Invasive Joel and Liston, 1986
JapanPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979
-Bonin IslandPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2002
-Ryukyu ArchipelagoPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2002
Korea, Republic ofWidespreadIntroducedHolm et al., 1979
LaosPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2002
LebanonPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2002
MalaysiaPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979
MaldivesPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2002
NepalPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2016Naturalised.
PakistanPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979
PhilippinesPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979; Moody et al., 1984; PIER, 2016
QatarPresentIntroduced Not invasive Flora of Qatar, 2016
Saudi ArabiaRestricted distributionIntroducedChaudhary and Akram, 1987
SingaporePresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2016; USDA-ARS, 2016
Sri LankaPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2002
TaiwanPresentIntroduced Invasive ILDIS, 2002; Taiwan Invasive Species Database, 2016
ThailandPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979
VietnamPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979; IRRI, 1989
YemenPresentIntroducedChaudhary and Revri, 1983; Walkey et al., 1994


AngolaPresentIntroducedPrista et al., 1959
BeninPresentIntroducedRoyal Museum for Central Africa, 2016
BotswanaPresentIntroduced Invasive Holm et al., 1979; Witt and Luke, 2017
Burkina FasoPresentIntroducedRoyal Museum for Central Africa, 2016
BurundiPresentIntroduced Invasive ILDIS, 2002; Witt and Luke, 2017
CameroonPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2002
Central African RepublicPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2002
ChadPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2002
ComorosPresentILDIS, 2002
CongoPresentIntroducedRoyal Museum for Central Africa, 2016
Congo Democratic RepublicPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979
Côte d'IvoirePresentIntroducedHutchinson and Dalziel, 1958
DjiboutiPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2002
EgyptPresentIntroducedHassan et al., 1974
Equatorial GuineaPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2002
EthiopiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Walkey et al., 1994; Bufebo et al., 2016; Witt and Luke, 2017
GabonPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2002
GambiaPresentIntroducedJones, 1994
GhanaPresentIntroducedHutchinson and Dalziel, 1958; Holm et al., 1979
GuineaPresentIntroducedHutchinson and Dalziel, 1958
Guinea-BissauPresentIntroducedPrista et al., 1959
KenyaPresentIntroduced Invasive Brenan, 1967; Holm et al., 1979; BioNET-EAFRINET, 2016; Witt and Luke, 2017
LiberiaPresentIntroducedHutchinson and Dalziel, 1958
LibyaPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2002
MadagascarPresentIntroducedRoyal Museum for Central Africa, 2016
MalawiPresentIntroduced Invasive Binns, 1968; Witt and Luke, 2017
MaliPresentHutchinson and Dalziel, 1958
MauritaniaPresentIntroducedRoyal Museum for Central Africa, 2016
MauritiusPresentIntroducedRochecouste and Vaughan, 1959; Holm et al., 1979
MayottePresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2016
MozambiquePresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2016
NamibiaPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2002
NigerPresentIntroducedHutchinson and Dalziel, 1958
NigeriaPresentIntroducedHutchinson and Dalziel, 1958; Holm et al., 1979
RéunionPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2002
Rodriguez IslandPresentIntroducedRoyal Museum for Central Africa, 2016
RwandaPresentIntroduced Invasive ILDIS, 2002; Witt and Luke, 2017
Sao Tome and PrincipePresentIntroducedPrista et al., 1959
SenegalPresentIntroducedHutchinson and Dalziel, 1958; Berhaut, 1967; Holm et al., 1979
SeychellesPresentIntroduced Invasive Robertson, 1989; PIER, 2016Cousin Island
Sierra LeonePresentIntroducedHutchinson and Dalziel, 1958
South AfricaPresentIntroduced Invasive Henderson, 2001; Invasive Species South Africa, 2016Invasive in the Provinces of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and ZwaZulu-Natal
SudanPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979
SwazilandPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2016
TanzaniaPresentIntroduced Invasive Brenan, 1967; Holm et al., 1979; BioNET-EAFRINET, 2016; Witt and Luke, 2017
-ZanzibarPresentIntroducedBrenan, 1967
TogoPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2016
UgandaPresentIntroduced Invasive Brenan, 1967; Holm et al., 1979; BioNET-EAFRINET, 2016; Witt and Luke, 2017
ZambiaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-ARS, 2016; Witt and Luke, 2017
ZimbabwePresentIntroduced Invasive Holm et al., 1979; Witt and Luke, 2017

North America

MexicoPresentNativeHolm et al., 1979; USDA-ARS, 2016Campeche, Colima, Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Sinaloa, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Yucatán
USAPresentHolm et al., 1979
-AlabamaPresentIntroduced Invasive Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992; USDA-NRCS, 2002
-ArkansasPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2016Naturalized
-FloridaWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Teem et al., 1980
-GeorgiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Teem et al., 1980; USDA-ARS, 2016As a problem and increasing weed
-HawaiiWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Holm et al., 1979; USDA-NRCS, 2002; PIER, 2016
-IllinoisPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-IndianaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-IowaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-KansasPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-LouisianaPresentIntroduced Invasive Teem et al., 1980; USDA-NRCS, 2002As a problem and increasing weed
-MississippiPresentIntroduced Invasive Teem et al., 1980; USDA-ARS, 2016As a problem and increasing weed
-MissouriPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-North CarolinaPresentIntroduced Invasive Teem et al., 1980; USDA-ARS, 2016As a problem and increasing weed
-OklahomaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2016Naturalized
-South CarolinaPresentIntroduced Invasive Teem et al., 1980; USDA-ARS, 2016As a problem and increasing weed
-TennesseePresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2016Naturalized
-TexasPresentIntroduced Invasive Teem et al., 1980; USDA-ARS, 2016As a problem and increasing weed
-VirginiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Teem et al., 1980; USDA-ARS, 2016As a problem and increasing weed

Central America and Caribbean

AnguillaPresentNativeFournet and Hammerton, 1991; Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012
Antigua and BarbudaPresentFournet and Hammerton, 1991
BahamasPresentNativeILDIS, 2002; Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012
BarbadosPresentNativeFournet and Hammerton, 1991; Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012
BelizePresentNativeHolm et al., 1979
British Virgin IslandsPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012Anegada, Guana Island, Tortola, Virgin Gorda
Cayman IslandsPresentNativeILDIS, 2002; Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012
Costa RicaPresentNativeHolm et al., 1979
CubaPresentHolm et al., 1979; Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012; Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012
DominicaPresentNativeFournet and Hammerton, 1991; Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012
Dominican RepublicPresentNativeILDIS, 2002; Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012
El SalvadorPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
GrenadaPresentNativeFournet and Hammerton, 1991; Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012
GuadeloupePresentFournet and Hammerton, 1991
GuatemalaPresentNativeCaceras et al., 1991; USDA-ARS, 2016
HaitiPresentNativeILDIS, 2002; Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012
HondurasPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
JamaicaPresentNativeHolm et al., 1979; USDA-ARS, 2016
MartiniquePresentFournet and Hammerton, 1991
MontserratPresentNativeFournet and Hammerton, 1991; Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012
NicaraguaPresentNativeHolm et al., 1979
PanamaPresentNativeILDIS, 2002; USDA-ARS, 2016
Puerto RicoPresentNativeHolm et al., 1979; USDA-NRCS, 2002; Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012Desecheo, Icacos, Mona, Vieques
SabaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
Saint Kitts and NevisPresentNativeFournet and Hammerton, 1991; USDA-ARS, 2016
Saint LuciaPresentNativeFournet and Hammerton, 1991; USDA-ARS, 2016
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesPresentNativeFournet and Hammerton, 1991; USDA-ARS, 2016
Trinidad and TobagoPresentHolm et al., 1979; Fournet and Hammerton, 1991
United States Virgin IslandsPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016

South America

ArgentinaPresentNativeHolm et al., 1979; ILDIS, 2002; USDA-ARS, 2016
BoliviaPresentNativeHolm et al., 1979; ILDIS, 2002
BrazilPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
-AlagoasPresentNativeLorenzi, 1982
-AmapaPresentNativeLorenzi, 1982
-AmazonasPresentNativeLorenzi, 1982
-BahiaPresentNativeLorenzi, 1982
-CearaPresentNativeLorenzi, 1982
-Fernando de NoronhaPresentNativeLorenzi, 1982
-GoiasPresentNativeLorenzi, 1982
-MaranhaoPresentNativeLorenzi, 1982
-Mato GrossoPresentNativeLorenzi, 1982
-Mato Grosso do SulPresentNativeLorenzi, 1982
-Minas GeraisPresentNativeLorenzi, 1982
-ParaPresentNativeLorenzi, 1982
-ParaibaPresentNativeLorenzi, 1982
-PernambucoPresentNativeLorenzi, 1982
-PiauiPresentNativeLorenzi, 1982
-Rio de JaneiroPresentNativeLorenzi, 1982
-Rio Grande do NortePresentNativeLorenzi, 1982
-Rio Grande do SulPresentNativeLorenzi, 1982
-RondoniaPresentNativeLorenzi, 1982
-Santa CatarinaPresentNativeLorenzi, 1982
-Sao PauloPresentNativeLorenzi, 1982
-SergipePresentNativeLorenzi, 1982
-TocantinsPresentNativeLorenzi, 1982
ColombiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
EcuadorPresentNativeHolm et al., 1979
-Galapagos IslandsPresentNativePIER, 2016
French GuianaPresentNativeILDIS, 2002
GuyanaPresentNativeHolm et al., 1979
ParaguayPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016Alto Paraguay, Amambay, Caaguazu, Caazapa, Central, Cordillera, Guaira, Neenbucu, Paraguari, Oresidente Hayes
PeruPresentNativeHolm et al., 1979
SurinamePresentNativeHolm et al., 1979
UruguayPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016Artigas, Montevideo, Paysandu, Río Negro, Salto, Soriano
VenezuelaPresentNativeHolm et al., 1979


American SamoaPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2016Manu’a Island
AustraliaPresent Invasive Holm et al., 1979
-Australian Northern TerritoryPresent Invasive Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992; Flanagan, 1998
-QueenslandPresent Invasive Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992; Flanagan, 1998
-South AustraliaPresentIntroducedAtlas of Living Australia, 2016
-VictoriaPresentIntroduced Invasive Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992
-Western AustraliaPresent Invasive Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992
Cook IslandsPresentIntroduced Not invasive ILDIS, 2002; PIER, 2016Ma’uke Island
FijiPresentIntroduced Invasive ILDIS, 2002; PIER, 2016Lakemba, Ovalua, Taveuni and Viti Islands
French PolynesiaPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2016; USDA-ARS, 2016Invasive in the Tuanotu Archipielago, the Austral, Marquesas and Society Islands
GuamPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2016
Marshall IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2016Also cultivated
Micronesia, Federated states ofPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2016Invasive in Fais, Kosrae and Pohnpei Islands
NauruPresentIntroduced Invasive ILDIS, 2002; PIER, 2016
New CaledoniaPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2016Loyalty Islands, Ile Tiga, Ile Grande Terre. Also cultivated
NiuePresentIntroduced Invasive ILDIS, 2002; PIER, 2016
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive ILDIS, 2002; PIER, 2016Agrigan, Alamagan, Pagan, Rota, Saipan, Sarigan, Tinian Islands
PalauPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2016Angaur, Babeldaob, Kayangel, Koror, Malakal Islands. Also cultivated
Papua New GuineaPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2016; USDA-ARS, 2016Bismark Archipielago, New Guinea Island
Pitcairn IslandPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2016
SamoaPresentIntroducedWhistler, 1983; Sauerborn and Sauerborn, 1984; ILDIS, 2002
Solomon IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2016; USDA-ARS, 2016
TongaPresentIntroduced Invasive Whistler, 1983; PIER, 2016
TuvaluPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2016
VanuatuPresentIntroducedPIER, 2016
Wallis and Futuna IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2016

History of Introduction and Spread

Top of page

Little is published on the introduction of S. occidentalis, but its potential to spread is indicated by the fact that in 1980 it was reported as being a problem weed in seven states of the USA and an increasing problem in eight states (Teem et al., 1980). It is reported by PROSEA (2016) to have had a trade of its seeds and medicinal products between Africa and Europe, without further details. The site also reports current local trade in Asia, again, without further information. It is reported as present in Africa since the 1800’s (PROTA, 2016) and in Madagascar since the 1950’s (Kull et al., 2014). It was first detected in China in the sixteenth century, with an intentional introduction in farmlands and disturbed sites and forests; currently it is reported for ten provinces (Xu et al., 2012)

S. occidentalis has also been used in the diet of the Maldives for centuries (Encyclopedia of Life, 2016).


Top of page
Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Angola 1853 Yes No PROTA (2016)
Mozambique 1853 Yes No PROTA (2016)
Madagascar 1950 Medicinal use (pathway cause) Yes No Kull et al. (2014) Introduced to the Alaotra area and soon became part of local pharmacopeia

Risk of Introduction

Top of page

The worldwide distribution of S. occidentalis from its tropical American origins is indicative that it is readily spread, aided by man, both intentionally and accidentally (Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992; PIER, 2016). It is considered to have a high risk of introduction, with the capacity to become established in many tropical and subtropical habitats.


Top of page

S. occidentalis is a weed of the humid tropics and subtropics, principally on silts and sands, becoming a weed on roadsides, in arable lands, degraded pastures and waste places (Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992). It is also recorded from lakeshores in East Africa (Brenan, 1967), riverbanks and coastal sand flats in South Africa (Henderson, 2001) and gardens in the Solomon Islands. In East Africa, it occurs at altitudes of 0-1740 m above sea level (Brenan, 1967). It is also found around urban areas, open fields, plantations, sand dunes, ditches and seasonally wet depressions (PIER, 2016; PROSEA, 2016). In the USA it has a facultative, facultative upland and upland Wetland Indicator Status (USDA-NRCS, 2015).

Habitat List

Top of page
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Cultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Natural
Protected agriculture (e.g. glasshouse production) Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural forests Present, no further details Natural
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Natural
Riverbanks Present, no further details Natural
Scrub / shrublands Present, no further details Natural
Deserts Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Coastal areas Present, no further details Natural
Coastal dunes Present, no further details Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page

S. occidentalis is commonly cited as a weed of soyabean, groundnut, cotton and pastures (Teem et al., 1980). However, its distribution indicates that it is likely to occur as part of the mixed weed flora of many annual crops in the tropics and subtropics (PROSEA, 2016; PROTA, 2016)..

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

Top of page
Plant nameFamilyContext
Arachis hypogaea (groundnut)FabaceaeMain
Colocasia esculenta (taro)AraceaeMain
Glycine max (soyabean)FabaceaeMain
Gossypium (cotton)MalvaceaeMain

Growth Stages

Top of page Flowering stage, Post-harvest, Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage

List of Symptoms/Signs

Top of page
SignLife StagesType
Cardiovascular Signs / Tachycardia, rapid pulse, high heart rate Sign
Digestive Signs / Anorexia, loss or decreased appetite, not nursing, off feed Sign
Digestive Signs / Diarrhoea Sign
General Signs / Abnormal proprioceptive positioning, knuckling Sign
General Signs / Ataxia, incoordination, staggering, falling Sign
General Signs / Dysmetria, hypermetria, hypometria Sign
General Signs / Exercise intolerance, tires easily Sign
General Signs / Generalized lameness or stiffness, limping Sign
General Signs / Generalized weakness, paresis, paralysis Sign
General Signs / Inability to stand, downer, prostration Sign
General Signs / Lack of growth or weight gain, retarded, stunted growth Sign
General Signs / Paraparesis, weakness, paralysis both hind limbs Sign
General Signs / Reluctant to move, refusal to move Sign
General Signs / Sudden death, found dead Sign
General Signs / Tetraparesis, weakness, paralysis all four limbs Sign
General Signs / Trembling, shivering, fasciculations, chilling Sign
Nervous Signs / Dullness, depression, lethargy, depressed, lethargic, listless Sign
Nervous Signs / Tremor Sign
Reproductive Signs / Agalactia, decreased, absent milk production Sign
Respiratory Signs / Dyspnea, difficult, open mouth breathing, grunt, gasping Sign
Respiratory Signs / Increased respiratory rate, polypnea, tachypnea, hyperpnea Sign
Urinary Signs / Haemoglobinuria or myoglobinuria Sign
Urinary Signs / Red or brown urine, pink Sign

Biology and Ecology

Top of page


The chromosome number reported for S. occidentalis is 2n=28(26) (PROSEA, 2016). Seeds are preserved at various institutions, including the USDA-ARS and the Millennium Seed Bank (Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, 2016; USDA-ARS, 2016). DNA barcode information for the species is available at the Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS, 2016).

Reproductive Biology

Abrasion of the hard seed coat for 5, 10 or 15 seconds, pricking with a needle or treating with sulphuric acid are effective in initiating germination. In pot trials, three days after sowing, 32% of the S. occidentalis seedlings emerged from a soil depth of 2.5 cm and 8% emerged from 10.2 cm. After nine days, there was emergence from 12.7 cm (Teem et al., 1978; 1980). In northern Australia, most seeds germinate at the beginning of the wet season but some may germinate at any time of the year, provided moisture is available. Optimum germination occurs at 25°C and pH 6 (Norsworthy and Olivera, 2005), decreasing with an alkaline pH.

Physiology and Phenology

Circadian rhythmic leaf movement occurs in S. occidentalis which appears to be under endogenous control (Andersen and Koukkari, 1979). Evidence for the presence of root nodulation by Rhizobium is contradictory. Banados and Fernandez (1954) state that nodulation occurs on S. occidentalis, but this is disputed by Rao et al. (1973) who claim that fresh root extracts from non-nodulating S. occidentalis can inhibit Rhizobium strains isolated from six species of nodulating herbaceous legumes. Young plants, the first true leaves of which consist only of two pairs of leaflets, develop rapidly, attaining a height of one metre in a few weeks. A few plants in warm moist situations may continue to grow for another season (Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992).

S. occidentalis is reported to produce flowers throughout the year under favourable warm, humid conditions; and to flower in midsummer and autumn at temperate climates (PROSEA, 2016).


S. occidentalis grows as an annual in temperate climates where it dies at the beginning of the cold season. It grows for 2-3 years in warm and humid conditions (PROSEA, 2016).

Environmental Requirements

In laboratory tests, S. occidentalis germinated over a wide range of temperatures from 15°C to 36°C with the optimum being 24-36°C (Teem et al., 1978; 1980). Germination was substantially reduced at 30°C by fungal attack (Rhizopus sp.). This weed is highly tolerant of acid soils in the range of pH 4.7 to 6.3 (Buchanan et al., 1975), but can grow in soils with a pH of up to 8.4 (PROTA, 2016). It is also tolerant of low soil phosphorus (Hoveland et al., 1976).


Top of page
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
BS - Steppe climate Preferred > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
BW - Desert climate Preferred < 430mm annual precipitation
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Preferred Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

Top of page
Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
34 46 0 1740

Air Temperature

Top of page
Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) 5
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 23 32
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 20 33
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) 10 19


Top of page
ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration5number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall9001800mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Bimodal

Soil Tolerances

Top of page

Soil drainage

  • free
  • seasonally waterlogged

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • light
  • medium

Natural enemies

Top of page
Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Caryedon pallidus Herbivore Seeds
Caryedon patialensis Herbivore Fruits/pods
Catopsilia pyranthe Herbivore Leaves
Pseudocercospora sieberiana Pathogen Leaves
Ramularia cassiae Pathogen
Uredo cassiae Pathogen

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page

Many organisms occur as natural enemies of S. occidentalis, some examples of which are given below. Viruses include Bean Common Mosaic Virus (Spence and Walkey, 1995), Cassia Severe Mosaic Virus (Walkey, 1992; Walkey et al., 1994), Soybean Mosaic Virus (Singh and Gupta, 1996) and White Clover Mosaic Virus (Joshi et al., 1981). Fungi include Colletotrichum dematium f. truncata [Colletotrichum truncatum] (Gudauskas et al., 1977) and four new species found on S. occidentalis requiring confirmation, Pseudocercospora sieberiana (Ram and Mallaiah, 1992), Ramularia cassiae (Zhang et al., 2002), Uredo cassiae (Rao, 1987) and a ringspot mosaic disease (Mathur and Singh, 1972). Arthropods include Caryedon pallidus (Lienard et al., 1992), Caryedon patialensis (Tarlok Singh and Saini, 1978) and Catopsilia pyranthe (Khatri and Amardeep, 1990; Patel and Yadav, 1991; Ooi, 2000), and the nematode Meloidogyne javanica has been reported (Haseeb and Khan, 1983). Ants and pentatomid insects have also been reported feeding on flower parts (Shaukat and Siddiqui, 2007).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

Top of page

Natural Dispersal (Non-Biotic)

The seeds of S. occidentalis have no specific dispersal mechanism and are spread mainly in water flow over the soil surface, especially flood waters (Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992).

Vector Transmission (Biotic)

Although the plant is reported as poisonous to animals, seeds are reported as dispersed in livestock dung (PIER, 2016).

Accidental Introduction

Seeds of S. occidentalis can be spread in mud sticking to animal hooves, footwear, farm machinery and other vehicles (Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992). A small number of seeds of S. occidentalis may be spread as contaminants in agricultural produce such as hay and grain (Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992).

Pathway Causes

Top of page
CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Digestion and excretionReported as dispersed in livestock dung Yes PIER, 2016
Garden waste disposalReported as a garden weed so possibly dispersed with garden waste Yes PIER, 2016
HitchhikerAs contaminants in agricultural produce such as hay and grain Yes Yes Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992
Medicinal useTraded for the seeds and medicinal purposes between Africa and Europe Yes Yes PROSEA, 2016
Off-site preservation Seeds preserved at various sites, including the USDA-ARS and the Millennium Seed Bank Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2016
Ornamental purposes Yes Yes PROTA, 2016
Seed tradeSeeds were traded between Africa and Europe Yes PROSEA, 2016

Pathway Vectors

Top of page
VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Land vehiclesTractors and farm vehicles Yes Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992
Plants or parts of plantsFodder Yes Yes
Soil, sand and gravel Yes Yes
Clothing, footwear and possessionsIn mud sticking to footwear Yes Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992
Machinery and equipmentIn mud sticking to machinery Yes Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992
WaterIn water flow over the soil surface Yes Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992

Plant Trade

Top of page
Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Leaves seeds Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
True seeds (inc. grain) seeds

Impact Summary

Top of page
Biodiversity (generally) None
Crop production Negative
Cultural/amenity Positive
Economic/livelihood Positive and negative
Environment (generally) Positive and negative
Forestry production None
Human health Positive and negative
Livestock production Negative
Tourism None
Trade/international relations None
Transport/travel None

Economic Impact

Top of page

The seeds of S. occidentalis contain compounds that damage the liver, vascular system, heart and lungs of domestic livestock. Symptoms of poisoning include myopathy, muscle tremors, uncoordinated gait, tachycardia, dyspnoea, diarrhoea and pulmonary emphysema which lead to the death of cattle (Schmitz and Denton, 1977; Rogers et al., 1979; Barros et al., 1999), horses (Martin et al., 1981; Irigoyen et al., 1991; Riet-Correa et al., 1998), goats (Suliman et al., 1982; Suliman and Shommein, 1986), pigs (Colvin et al., 1986; Martins et al., 1986), poultry (Torres et al., 1971; Haraguchi et al., 1998) and rabbits (O'Hara and Pierce, 1974).

S. occidentalis harms crops by being an alternative host to diseases such as Potato Virus Y (Suteri et al., 1979). It can also harm crops directly by competing for nutrients, water and light; for example, field experiments in cotton have shown that with season-long competition, each increase of S. occidentalis plants in a 7.5 m row can reduce seed cotton yield by 9-117 kg/ha. Each additional week of competition from a dense infestation of S. occidentalis (40 plants/m of row) can reduce seed cotton yield by 118 kg/ha and cotton main stem height by 1.25 cm (Higgins et al., 1986).

Social Impact

Top of page

S. occidentalis is recognised by some Brazilian indigenous groups as being contraindicated for pregnancy, with abortive properties (Rodrigues, 2007).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
Impact outcomes
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Negatively impacts animal health
  • Negatively impacts livelihoods
  • Reduced native biodiversity
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Pest and disease transmission
  • Poisoning
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally


Top of page

S. occidentalis is used as a coffee substitute in Egypt and elsewhere despite reports that the seeds are toxic to cattle (Rogers et al., 1979). Heating of the seeds apparently removes toxicity (PROSEA, 2016). Seeds also used to prepare teas (PROTA, 2016). The seeds contain no caffeine or tannin. A mixture of equal parts of these seeds and coffee beans was acceptable in organoleptic tests (Hassan et al., 1974). The leaves, fruits and flowers are consumed as a vegetable, to accompany rice or added to soups (PROTA, 2016).

It is used as an ornamental and for green manure (PROTA, 2016).  It is also associated with ritual/religious uses in some African cultures (PROTA, 2016).

Almost all the parts of the plant of S. occidentalis are used for traditional medicinal purposes, especially in Africa (PROSEA, 2016; Royal Museum for Central Africa, 2016). Most recorded uses of S. occidentalis are as traditional remedies for ailments such as typhoid (Evans et al., 2002), malaria (Gasquet et al., 1993; Tona et al., 1999, 2001), liver complaints (Saraf, 1994), snake bites (PROTA, 2016) and dog bites (Singh and Anand, 1994). It is also used to treat diabetes, pains, rheumatism, venereal diseases, fevers, haematuria and convulsion (Flowers of India, 2016; PROSEA, 2016). It is reported to have antimutagenic (Bin Hafeez et al., 2001), antifungal (Hussain and Deeni, 1991), insect antifeedant (Facknath and Kawol, 1993) and diuretic (PROSEA, 2016) activities. It is used in Ayurvedic traditional medicine in India, being the source of the drug Kasamarda (Reeta and Ravindra, 2013). The name Kasamarda comes from Sanskrit words meaning to destroy coughs, deriving from the reported action against coughs, asthma and other respiratory ailments.

Cymbidium Mosaic Virus and Odontoglossum Ringspot Virus, widespread in commercially grown orchids in Malaysia, can be detected in bioassays using S. occidentalis (Samad and Noraini, 1985).

Environmental Services

Insecticidal properties are also reported (PROTA, 2016). It is used in ethnoveterinary medicine because of its anthelmintics properties against gastrointestinal nematodes in small ruminants (Eguale et al., 2011).

Emigrant butterflies are reported as visiting the flowers, also as used by caterpillars (National Parks Board, 2016; India Biodiversity Portal, 2016).

Uses List

Top of page


  • Boundary, barrier or support


  • Ritual uses

Human food and beverage

  • Beverage base
  • Fruits
  • Seeds
  • Vegetable


  • Green manure
  • Pesticide

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore
  • Veterinary


  • Seed trade

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Top of page

S. occidentalis resembles the weeds S. obtusifolia and S. tora in morphology, distribution, ecology and biology. The most obvious difference is in leaf shape; in S. occidentalis, the leaves of mature plants have 4 (occasionally 3) to 6 pairs of leaflets (compared to only 3 in S. obtusifolia and S. tora) and the leaflets are ovate or lanceolate-elliptic, with a pointed tip (unlike the blunt or rounded tips of S. tora and S. obtusifolia). BioNET-EAFRINET (2016) lists characteristics by which S. occidentalis can be distinguished from S. obtusifolia, S. hirsuta and S. septemtrionalis.

Prevention and Control

Top of page

Cultural Control

In pastures, where S. occidentalis quickly invades bare and trampled areas, it is essential to maintain a vigorous pasture cover by reduced grazing pressure and top dressing with fertilizer where appropriate, while at the same time, controlling the actively growing weed with herbicides (Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992).

Physical/Mechanical Control

S. occidentalis is easily controlled by cultivation when in the seedling stage (Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992; Flanagan, 1998).

Biological Control

Alternaria cassiae  is commercially available as a mycoherbicide. It is effective when applied as conidia at 1,000,000 spores/ml to control S. occidentalis in the greenhouse (Boyette, 1988). In field plots of the soyabean cultivar Forrest, a single foliar application of 100,000 conidia/ml in 935 litres/ha controlled 82% of S. occidentalis (Boyette and Walker, 1985). Mutants have been developed which carry greater virulence (Babalola, 2009).

A strain of Fusarium oxysporum was isolated from infected S. obtusifolia stems at Stoneville, USA in 1989. When the fungus was formulated as granules, either in a fungus-infested rice preparation or encapsulated in a wheat-gluten matrix called 'Pesta', control of S. occidentalis was achieved with pre-emergence or pre-plant incorporated treatments. Liquid conidial applications were less effective. Plants were killed by pre-emergence damping-off. Post-emergence applications were significantly less effective. It is suggested that this fungus has potential as a mycoherbicide for controlling S. occidentalis (Boyette et al., 1993). Colletotrichum gloeosporioides has also been found to have potential as a mycoherbicide against the weed (Boyette et al., 2012).

The oil from Artemisia scoparia has been tested as a potential bioherbicide against weeds including Senna occidentalis (Shalinder Kaur et al., 2010). Artemisia oil caused severe electrolyte leakage from S. occidentalis and Echinocloa crus-galli. A beetle, Caryedon crineus, which infests seeds and pods of S. occidentalis, has been investigated as a potential biocontrol agent (Thakur, 2012).

Chemical Control

S. occidentalis is easily controlled by herbicides when in the seedling stage (Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992). Herbicides that have been used to give control in a range of crops, either alone or in combinations with other herbicides, include: AC263,222 (imazapic) in groundnut (Webster et al., 1997), bentazone in soybean (Murray et al., 1978), bromoxynil in bromoxynil-resistant cotton (Paulsgrove and Wilcut, 1999), cyanazine in cotton (Keeton et al., 1996), diuron in cotton (Keeton et al., 1996), fluometuron in cotton (Keeton et al., 1996; Paulsgrove and Wilcut, 1999), imazaquin in soyabean (Etheridge et al., 1995), imazethapyr in groundnut (Richburg et al., 1995a, b; Webster et al., 1997), methazole in cotton (Keeton et al., 1996), metolachlor in groundnut (Richburg et al., 1995a), metribuzin in soyabean (Etheridge et al., 1995), MSMA in cotton (Keeton et al., 1996), prometryn in cotton (Keeton et al., 1996), pyrithiobac in cotton (Keeton et al., 1996), norflurazon in cotton (Keeton et al., 1996) and sulfentrazone in soyabean (Dayan et al., 1996a, b).

In pastures, S. occidentalis can be controlled by spot spraying with dichlorprop, picloram + 2,4-D or, if large colonies are present, by applying glyphosate with a rope-wick applicator or carpet roller (Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992; Flanagan, 1998).

S. occidentalis is reputed to be tolerant to many herbicides but none is named (Flanagan, 1998).


Top of page

Acevedo-Rodríguez P, Strong MT, 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies. Smithsonian Contributions to Botany, 98:1192 pp. Washington DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution.

Andersen RN, Koukkari WL, 1979. Rhythmic leaf movements of some common weeds. Weed Science, 27(4):401-415

Atlas of Living Australia, 2016. Atlas of Living Australia. Canberra ACT, Australia: GBIF.

Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants, 2010. Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants. Version 6.1 - December 2010. CSIRO, Queensland, Australia.

Babalola OO, 2009. Asporogenic mutants of Alternaria cassiae sp. generated by X-ray irradiation. Journal of Culture Collections, 6(1), 85-96.

Backer CA, 1936. Handbook for the cultivation of sugarcane and manufacturing of sugarcane in Java, Vol. 7, Atlas. Pasuruan, Indonesia: Indonesia Sugar Experiment Station (BP3G)

Banados LL, Fernandez WL, 1954. Nodulation among the Leguminosae. Philippine Agriculturist, Laguna, 37(9):529-33

Barros CSL, Ilha MRS, Bezerra Junior PS, Langohr IM, Kommers GD, 1999. Poisoning with Senna occidentalis in grazing cattle. Pesquisa Veterinária Brasileira, 19(2):68-70; 8 ref

Barukial J, Gogoi P, Boissya CL, 1993. Foliar epidermal study of some species of Cassia L. Advances in Plant Sciences, 6(2):279-289

Berhaut J, 1967. Flore du Senegal. Dakar, Senegal: Editions Clairafrique

Bin Hafeez B, Iqbal Ahmad, Rizwanul Haque, Raisuddin S, Ahmad I, Haque R, 2001. Protective effect of Cassia occidentalis L. on cyclophosphamide-induced suppression of humoral immunity in mice. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 75(1):13-18

Binns B, 1968. A First Check List of the Herbaceous Flora of Malawi. Zomba, Malawi: The Government Printer

BioNET-EAFRINET, 2016. Invasive plants key and fact sheets.

BOLDS, 2016. Kingdoms of Life being barcoded. BOLD Systems.

Boyette CD, 1988. Biocontrol of three leguminous weed species with Alternaria cassiae. Weed Technology, 2(4):414-417

Boyette CD, Abbas HK, Connick WJJr, 1993. Evaluation of Fusarium oxysporum as a potential bioherbicide for sicklepod (Cassia obtusifolia), coffee senna (C. occidentalis), and hemp sesbania (Sesbania exaltata). Weed Science, 41(4):678-681; 14 ref

Boyette CD, Hoagland RE, Weaver MA, Stetina K, 2012. Biological control potential of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides for coffee senna (Cassia occidentalis). American Journal of Plant Sciences, 3(4), 430-436.

Boyette CD, Walker HL, 1985. Biological control of three leguminous weed species with Alternaria cassiae. Proceedings, Southern Weed Science Society, 38th Annual Meeting, Houston, Texas, USA, 374

Brenan JPM, 1967. Leguminosae subfamily Caesalpinioideae. In: Milne-Redhead E, Polhill RM, eds. Flora of Tropical East Africa. London, UK: Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations

Broome R, Sabir K, Carrington S, 2007. Plants of the Eastern Caribbean. Online database. Barbados: University of the West Indies.

Buchanan GA, Hoveland CS, Harris MC, 1975. Response of weeds to soil pH. Weed Science, 23(6):473-477

Bufebo B, Tessema T, Fisshaie R, 2016. Spatial distribution and abundance of invasive alien plant species in Gamo Gofa Zone, Ethiopia. International Journal of Innovative Research & Development, 5(1), 23-33.

Caceres A, Lopez BR, Giron MA, Logemann H, 1991. Plants used in Guatemala for the treatment of dermatophytic infections. 1. Screening for antimycotic activity of 44 plant extracts. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 31(3):263-276

Chaudhary SA, Akram M, 1987. Weeds of Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Peninsula. Saudi Arabia: National Herbarium, Regional Agriculture and Water Research Center, Ministry of Agriculture and Water

Chaudhary SA, Revri R, 1983. Weeds of North Yemen. Eschborn, Germany: Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) Gmbh

Chhavi Thakur, Thakur C, 1988. Floral anatomy of Cassia L. Acta Botanica Indica, 16(2):248-250

Colvin BM, Harrison LR, Sangster LT, Gosser HS, 1986. Cassia occidentalis toxicosis in growing pigs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 189(4):423-426

Dayan FE, Green HM, Weete JD, Hancock HG, 1996. Postemergence activity of sulfentrazone: effects of surfactants and leaf surfaces. Weed Science, 44(4):797-803; 30 ref

Dayan FE, Weete JD, Hancock HG, 1996. Physiological basis for differential sensitivity to sulfentrazone by sicklepod (Senna obtusifolia) and coffee senna (Cassia occidentalis). Weed Science, 44(1):12-17; 32 ref

Eguale T, Tadesse D, Giday M, 2011. In vitro althelmintic activity of crude extracts of five medicinal plants against egg-hatching and larval development of Haemonchus contortus. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 137, 108-113.

Encyclopedia of Life, 2016. Encyclopedia of Life.

Etheridge RE, Murdock EC, Stapleton GS, Toler JE, Street JE, 1995. Sicklepod (Senna occidentalis) control in soybean (Glycine max) with imazaquin and metribuzin combinations. Herbicide-resistant crops: a bitter or better harvest? Proceedings of the 48th annual meeting of the Southern Weed Science Society, Memphis, Tennessee, USA, 16-18 January 1995, 56-61

Evans CE, Banso A, Samuel OA, 2002. Efficacy of some nupe medicinal plants against Salmonella typhi: an in vitro study. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 80(1):21-24

Facknath S, Kawol D, 1993. Antifeedant and insecticidal effects of some plant extracts on the cabbage webworm, Crocidolomia binotalis. Insect Science and its Application, 14(5):571-574

Flanagan GJ, 1998. Coffee senna (Senna occidentalis). Agnote Darwin, No. F28

Flora of Qatar, 2016. Flora of Qatar.

Flowers of India, 2016. Flowers of India.

Fournet J, Hammerton JL, 1991. Weeds of the Lesser Antilles. Paris, France: Department d'Economie et Sociologie Rurales, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique

Gasquet M, Delmas F, Timon David P, Keita A, Guindo M, Koita N, Diallo D, Doumbo O, 1993. Evaluation in vitro and in vivo of a traditional antimalarial, "Malarial 5". Fitoterapia, 64(5):423-426

Ghareeb A, Khalifa SF, Nael Fawzi Ghareeb A Fawzi N, 1999. Molecular systematics of some Cassia species. Cytologia, 64(1):11-16

Grierson AJC, Long DG, 1987. Flora of Bhutan including a Record of Plants from Sikkim, Vol. 1, Part 3. Edinburgh, UK: Royal Botanic Garden

Gudauskas RT, Teem DH, Morgan-Jones G, 1977. Anthracnose of Cassia occidentalis caused by Colletotrichum dematium f. truncata. Plant Disease Reporter, 61(6):468-470

Hanelt P, IPK, 2016. Mansfeld's World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops. Gatersleben, Germany: Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK).

Haraguchi M, Górniak SL, Calore EE, Cavaliere MJ, Raspantini PC, Calore NMP, Dagli MLZ, 1998. Muscle degeneration in chicks caused by Senna occidentalis seeds. Avian Pathology, 27(4):346-351; 26 ref

Haseeb A, Khan AM, 1983. Additions to the host records of the root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne javanica (Treub) Chitwood. Indian Journal of Plant Pathology, 1(2):209

Hassan YM, El-Hindawy S, Bassiony S, Abd-Alla MA, 1974. Cassia occidentalis L. as coffee substitute in Egypt. Egyptian Journal of Horticulture, 1(2):137-143

Henderson L, 2001. Alien Weeds and Invasive Plants. Plant Protection Research Institute Handbook No. 12. Cape Town, South Africa: Paarl Printers

Higgins JM, Walker RH, Whitwell T, 1986. Coffee senna (Cassia occidentalis) competition with cotton. Weed Science, 34(1):52-56

Holm LG, Pancho JV, Herberger JP, Plucknett DL, 1979. A geographical atlas of world weeds. New York, USA: John Wiley and Sons, 391 pp

Hoveland CS, Buchanan GA, Harris MC, 1976. Response of weeds to soil phosphorus and potassium. Weed Science, 24(2):194-201

Hussain HSN, Deeni YY, 1991. Plants in Kano ethnomedicine; screening for antimicrobial activity and alkaloids. International Journal of Pharmacognosy, 29(1):51-56

Hutchinson J, Dalziel JM, 1958. Flora of West Tropical Africa, Vol. 1. Part 2, 2nd edition. London, UK: Crown Agents

ILDIS, 2002. International Legume Database and Information Service. University of Southampton, UK.

India Biodiversity Portal, 2016. Online Portal of India Biodiversity.

Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States, 2016. Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States.

Invasive Species South Africa, 2016. Invasive Species South Africa.

Irigoyen LF, Graca DL, Barros CSL, 1991. Experimental poisoning with Cassia occidentalis (Leg. Cps). in horses. Pesquisa Veterinaria Brasileira, 11(1-2):35-44

IRRI, 1989. Weeds Reported in Rice in South and South East Asia. Manila, Philippines: International Rice Research Institute

Joel, D. M., Liston, A., 1986. New adventive weeds in Israel. Israel Journal of Botany, 35(3-4), 215-223.

Jones M, 1994. Flowering plants of The Gambia. Rotterdam, Netherlands: A. A. Balkema

Joshi RD, Prakash J, Dubey LN, 1981. Detection of white clover mosaic virus in eastern Uttar Pradesh. Indian Journal of Mycology and Plant Pathology, 11(1):157-158

Keeton A, Murdock EC, Stapleton GS, Toler JE, 1996. Chemical control systems for coffee senna (Cassia occidentalis) in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum). Weed Technology, 10(3):550-555; 14 ref

Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, 2016. Millennium Seed Bank - Seed List. Richmond, UK: Kew Royal Botanic Gardens.

Khatri TC, Amardeep, 1990. New host records for the butterfly Catopsilia pyranthe from Andamans with a note on its biology. Journal of the Andaman Science Association, 6(1):56

Kotresha K, Seetharam YN, 2000. Epidermal micromorphology of some species of Cassia L. (Caesalpiniaceae). Phytomorphology, 50(3-4):229-237

Kull C, Tassin J, Carriere SM, 2014. Approaching invasive species in Madagascar. Madagascar Conservation and Development, 9(2), 60-70.

Lienard V, Seck D, Haubruge E, Gaspar C, 1992. Biology of Caryedon pallidus (Oliv., 1790) (Col., Bruchidae), pest of grains of Cassia occidentalis (L.). Bulletin & Annales de la Socie^acute~te^acute~ Royale Belge d'Entomologie, 128(10/12):339-342; 7 ref

Lorenzi H, 1982. Plantas Daninhas do Brasil. Nova Odessa, San Paulo, Brazil: H. Lorenzi

Martin BW, Terry MK, Bridges CH, Bailey EM Jr, 1981. Toxicity of Cassia occidentalis in the horse. Veterinary and Human Toxicology, 23(6):416-417

Martins E, Martins VMV, Riet Correa F, Soncini RA, Paraboni SV, 1986. Cassia occidentalis poisoning in swine. Pesquisa Veterinaria Brasileira, 6(2):35-38

Mathur RS, Singh BR, 1972. Ringspot mosaic disease of coffee senna (Cassia occidentalis) in India. Indian Phytopathology. 25(2):314-315

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2016. Tropicos database. St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden.

Moody K, Munroe CE, Lubigan RT, Paller EC Jr, 1984. Major Weeds of the Philippines. Los Baños, Philippines: Weed Science Society of the Philippines, University of the Philippines at Los Baños

Murray DS, Soteres JK, Jolley ER, Crowley RH, 1978. Control of leguminous weeds in soybeans with postemergence applied herbicides. Proceedings of the 31st Annual Meeting of the Southern Weed Science Society., 94

National Parks Board, 2016. Flora and fauna web, Singapore: National Parks Board (online).

Norsworthy JK, Oliveira MJ, 2005. Coffee senna (Cassia occidentalis) germination and emergence is affected by environmental factors and seeding depth. Weed Science, 53(5), 657-662.

O'Hara PJ, Pierce KR, 1974. A toxic cardiomyopathy caused by Cassia occidentalis. I. Morphologic studies in poisoned rabbits. II. Biochemical studies in poisoned rabbits. Veterinary Pathology, 11(2):97-109; 110-124

Ooi PAC, 2000. Larval development in three species of Malaysian Catopsilia (Lepidoptera: Pieridae). Malayan Nature Journal, 54(4):369-372; 9 ref

Oviedo Prieto R, Herrera Oliver P, Caluff MG, et al. , 2012. National list of invasive and potentially invasive plants in the Republic of Cuba - 2011. (Lista nacional de especies de plantas invasoras y potencialmente invasoras en la República de Cuba - 2011). Bissea: Boletín sobre Conservación de Plantas del Jardín Botánico Nacional de Cuba, 6(Special Issue 1):22-96

Parsons WT, Cuthbertson EG, 1992. Noxious Weeds of Australia. Melbourne, Australia: Inkata Press, 692 pp

Patel HM, Yadav DN, 1991. Occurrence of mottled emigrant Catopsilia pyranthe (Lepidoptera: Pieridae) and its natural enemies at Anand. Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 61(10):789-791

Paulsgrove MD, Wilcut JW, 1999. Weed management in bromoxynil-resistant Gossypium hirsutum. Weed Science, 47(5):596-601; 20 ref

PIER, 2016. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. Honolulu, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii.

Prista L-N, Alves A Correia, Araujo M Fatima Correia De, 1959. C. occidentalis - a study of its anthraquinone compounds. Garcia de Orta, Lisboa, 7(4):757-720

PROSEA, 2016. Plant Resources of South-East Asia.

PROTA, 2016. PROTA4U web database. Wageningen, Netherlands: Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.

Ram MR, Mallaiah KV, 1992. Pseudocercospora sieberiana sp. nov. from India. Mycotaxon, 45:405-408

Rao KN, 1987. New rusts from Mannanur Forest, Andhra Pradesh, India. Current Science, India, 56(13):677-679

Rao VR, Rao NSS, Mukerji KG, 1973. Inhibition of Rhizobium in vitro by non-nodulating legume roots and root extracts. Plant and Soil, 39(2):449-452

Reeta M, Ravindra S, 2013. Kasamarda (Senna occidentalis Linn): Ayurvedic approach. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Scientific Innovation, 2(2), 25-27.

Richburg JS III, Wilcut JW, Eastin EF, 1995. Weed management in peanut (Arachis hypogaea) with imazethapyr and metolachlor. Weed Technology, 9(4):807-812; 19 ref

Richburg JS III, Wilcut JW, Wiley GL, 1995. AC 263,222 and imazethapyr rates and mixtures for weed management in peanut (Arachis hypogaea). Weed Technology, 9(4):801-806; 22 ref

Riet-Correa F, Soares MP, Mendez Mdel C, 1998. Poisonings in horses in Brazil. Ciência Rural, 28(4):715-722; 36 ref

Robertson SA, 1989. Flowering Plants of Seychelles. Kew, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens

Rochecouste E, Vaughan RE, 1959. Weeds of Mauritius. 2. Cassia occidentale Linn. Leaflet No. 2, Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute

Rodrigues E, 2007. Plants of restricted use indicated by three cultures in Brazi (Caboclo-river dweller, Indian and Quilombola). Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 111, 295-302.

Rogers RJ, Gibson J, Reichmann KG, 1979. The toxicity of Cassia occidentalis for cattle. Australian Veterinary Journal, 55(9):408-412

Royal Museum for Central Africa, 2016. Prelude medicinal plants database. Prelude Medicinal Plants Database. Tervuren, Belgium: Royal Museum for Central Africa.

Samad NA, Noraini AS, 1985. Methods of detection of orchid viruses. In: Proceedings of the Regional Conference on Plant Quarantine Support for Agricultural Development. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: 95-97

Saraf S, Dixit VK, Tripathi SC, Patnaik GK, Saraf S, 1994. Antihepatotoxic activity of Cassia occidentalis. International Journal of Pharmacognosy, 32(2):178-183

Sauerborn E, Sauerborn J, 1984. Plants of cropland in Western Samoa with special reference to taro. Plits, 2(4):1-331

Schmitz DG, Denton JH, 1977. Senna bean toxicity in cattle. Southwestern Veterinarian, 30(2):165-170

Shalinder Kaur, Singh, H. P., Sunil Mittal, Batish, D. R., Kohli, R. K., 2010. Phytotoxic effects of volatile oil from Artemisia scoparia against weeds and its possible use as a bioherbicide. Industrial Crops and Products, 32(1), 54-61. doi: 10.1016/j.indcrop.2010.03.007

Shaukat SS, Siddiqui IA, 2007. Comparative population ecology of Senna occidentalis (L.) Link, a monsoon desert annual, in two different habitats. Journal of Arid Environments, 68, 223-236.

Singh BR, Gupta SP, 1996. Natural occurrence of soybean mosaic virus on coffee senna. Indian Journal of Virology, 12(1):71-72; 13 ref

Singh KK, Anand P, 1994. Indigenous herbal remedies among the Tharus of Gonda District, UP, India. Ethnobiology in human welfare: abstracts of the fourth international congress of ethnobiology, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India, 17-21 November, 1994, 287

Space JC, Imada CT, 2004. Reports to the Republic of Kiribati on invasive plant species on the islands of Tarawa, Abemama, Butaritari and Maiana. Contribution No. 2003-006 to the Pacific Biological Survey. USDA Forest Service and the Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, 103 pp

Spence NJ, Walkey DGA, 1995. Variation for pathogenicity among isolates of bean common mosaic virus in Africa and a reinterpretation of the genetic relationship between cultivars of Phaseolus vulgaris and pathotypes of BCMV. Plant Pathology, 44(3):527-546

Suliman HB, Shommein AM, 1986. Toxic effect of the roasted and unroasted beans of Cassia occidentalis in goats. Veterinary and Human Toxicology, 28(1):6-11

Suliman HB, Wasfi IA, Adam SEI, 1982. The toxicity of Cassia occidentalis to goats. Veterinary and Human Toxicology, 24(5):326-330

Suteri BD, Joshi CC, Bala S, 1979. Some ornamentals and weeds as reservoirs of potato virus Y and cucumber mosaic virus in Kumaon. Indian Phytopathology, 32(4):640

Taiwan Invasive Species Database, 2016. Taiwan Invasive Species Database. St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria.

Tarlok Singh, Saini MS, 1978. Three new species of Bruchidae (Coleoptera) from Patiala (Panjab-India). Journal of Entomological Research, 2(2):129-135

Teem DH, Hoveland CS, Buchanan GA, 1978. Germination and seedling growth of sicklepod (Cassia obtusifolia L.) and coffee senna (Cassia occidentalis L.). Abstracts, 1977 Meeting of the Weed Science Society of America., 80

Teem DH, Hoveland CS, Buchanan GA, 1980. Sicklepod (Cassia obtusifolia) and coffee senna (Cassia occidentalis); geographic distribution, germination and emergence. Weed Science, 28(1):68-71

Thakur DR, 2012. Biology and biocontrol of Caryedon crineus Arora (Coleoptera: Bruchidae). IOBC/WPRS Bulletin, 81, 147-157.

The Plant List, 2013. The Plant List: a working list of all plant species. Version 1.1. London, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Tona L, Mesia K, Ngimbi NP, Chrimwami Okond' Ahoka B, Cimanga K, Bruyne T de, Apers S, Hermans N, Totte J, Pieters L, Vlietinck AJ, de Bruyne T, 2001. In-vivo antimalarial activity of Cassia occidentalis, Morinda morindoides and Phyllanthus niruri. Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, 95(1):47-57

Tona L, Ngimbi NP, Tsakala M, Mesia K, Cimanga K, Apers S, Bruyne T de, Pieters L, Totte J, Vlietinck AJ, de Bruyne T, 1999. Antimalarial activity of 20 crude extracts from nine African medicinal plants used in Kinshasa, Congo. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 68(1/3):193-203

Torres WLN, Nakano M, Nobre D, Momose N, 1971. Poisoning of fowls by Cassia occidentalis. Biologico, 37(8):204-208

USDA-ARS, 2016. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, USA.

USDA-NRCS, 2002. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, USA.

USDA-NRCS, 2015. The PLANTS Database. Baton Rouge, USA: National Plant Data Center.

Walkey DGA, 1992. Two possible new potyviruses from the Yemen. Recent advances in vegetable virus research. 7th Conference ISHS Vegetable Virus Working Group, Athens, Greece, July 12-16, 1992 Volos, Greece; Ores Publishing, 27-28

Walkey DGA, Spence NJ, Clay CM, Miller A, 1994. A potyvirus isolated from Senna occidentalis. Plant Pathology, 43(4):767-773

Webster TM, Wilcut JW, Coble HD, 1997. Influence of AC 263,222 rate and application method on weed management in peanut (Arachis hypogaea). Weed Technology, 11(3):520-526; 25 ref

Whistler WA, 1983. Weed handbook of Western Polynesia. Schriftenreihe der Deutschen Gesellschaft fnr Technische Zusammenarbeit, 157 pp

Witt, A., Luke, Q., 2017. Guide to the naturalized and invasive plants of Eastern Africa, [ed. by Witt, A., Luke, Q.]. Wallingford, UK: + 601 pp. doi:10.1079/9781786392145.0000

Xu HaiGen, Qiang Sheng, Genovesi, P., Ding Hui, Wu Jun, Meng Ling, Han ZhengMin, Miao JinLai, Hu BaiShi, Guo JiangYing, Sun HongYing, Huang Cheng, Lei JunCheng, Le ZhiFang, Zhang XiaoPing, He ShunPing, Wu Yi, Zheng Zhou, Chen Lian, Jarošík, V., Pyšek, P., 2012. An inventory of invasive alien species in China. NeoBiota, (No.15), 1-26.

Zhang T, Wang YX, Zhang ZY, 2002. Two new species of Ramularia. Mycosystema, 21(2):185-187

Links to Websites

Top of page
Flora and Fauna Web
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gateway source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Invasive Plant Atlas of the United Stateshttp://www.invasiveplant
Invasive Species South Africahttp:/
Mansfeld’s World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
Royal Museum for Central Africa. Prelude medicinal plants database
Taiwan Invasive Species Database


Top of page

07/09/2016 Updated by:

Jeanine Vélez-Gavilán, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez

Distribution Maps

Top of page
You can pan and zoom the map
Save map