Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Senna multijuga
(November shower)

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Datasheet

Senna multijuga (November shower)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 22 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Senna multijuga
  • Preferred Common Name
  • November shower
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • S. multijuga is a shrub or tree which is native to the northern part of South America but has naturalized in tropical regions around the world, where it has been introduced for cultivation as an attractive orna...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Senna multijuga (November shower or false sicklepod); flowers and leaves. Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. November, 2009.
TitleFlowers and leaves
CaptionSenna multijuga (November shower or false sicklepod); flowers and leaves. Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. November, 2009.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Senna multijuga (November shower or false sicklepod); flowers and leaves. Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. November, 2009.
Flowers and leavesSenna multijuga (November shower or false sicklepod); flowers and leaves. Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. November, 2009.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Senna multijuga (November shower or false sicklepod); habit, with Kim Starr for scale. Puaa Kaa Park, Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July, 2009.
TitleHabit
CaptionSenna multijuga (November shower or false sicklepod); habit, with Kim Starr for scale. Puaa Kaa Park, Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July, 2009.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Senna multijuga (November shower or false sicklepod); habit, with Kim Starr for scale. Puaa Kaa Park, Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July, 2009.
HabitSenna multijuga (November shower or false sicklepod); habit, with Kim Starr for scale. Puaa Kaa Park, Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July, 2009.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Senna multijuga (November shower or false sicklepod); leaf and leaflets (underside). Puaa Kaa Park, Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July, 2009.
TitleLeaf and leaflets
CaptionSenna multijuga (November shower or false sicklepod); leaf and leaflets (underside). Puaa Kaa Park, Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July, 2009.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Senna multijuga (November shower or false sicklepod); leaf and leaflets (underside). Puaa Kaa Park, Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July, 2009.
Leaf and leafletsSenna multijuga (November shower or false sicklepod); leaf and leaflets (underside). Puaa Kaa Park, Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July, 2009.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Senna multijuga (November shower or false sicklepod); leaves and seedpod. Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July, 2009.
TitleLeaves and seedpod
CaptionSenna multijuga (November shower or false sicklepod); leaves and seedpod. Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July, 2009.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Senna multijuga (November shower or false sicklepod); leaves and seedpod. Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July, 2009.
Leaves and seedpodSenna multijuga (November shower or false sicklepod); leaves and seedpod. Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July, 2009.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Senna multijuga (November shower or false sicklepod); seedlings. Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July, 2009.
TitleSeedlings
CaptionSenna multijuga (November shower or false sicklepod); seedlings. Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July, 2009.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Senna multijuga (November shower or false sicklepod); seedlings. Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July, 2009.
SeedlingsSenna multijuga (November shower or false sicklepod); seedlings. Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July, 2009.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Senna multijuga (Rich.) H.S. Irwin & Barneby

Preferred Common Name

  • November shower

Other Scientific Names

  • Cassia doylei (Britton & Rose) Lundell
  • Cassia lindleyana Gardner
  • Cassia marimari Aubl.
  • Cassia multijuga Rich.
  • Cassia verrucosa Vogel
  • Peiranisia doylei Britton & Rose
  • Peiranisia multijuga (Rich.) Britton & P. Wilson

International Common Names

  • English: false sicklepod; golden shower
  • Chinese: mi ye jue ming

Local Common Names

  • Bolivia: cupesí; flor de mayo; manicillo; ramo
  • Brazil: acácia; aleluia; aleluia-amarela; aleluia-da-serra-do-mar; alleluia; amarelao; amarelinha; amarelinho; amarellinho; anjico-branco; arvore-da-cigarra; caaobi; camunze; canafístula; canafrista; canjao; canudeiro; canudo-de-pito; caquera; carnaval; cássia; cássia-aleluia; cássia-multijuga; cássia-murici; cássia-verrugosa; chuva-de-ouro; cigarreira; cobi; cobi-preto; copaíba-angelim; faveirinha-branca; fedegoso; jarupari; maduirana-da-folha; maduirina-de-folha-mole; pau-amendoim; pau-cachimbo; pau-cigarra; pau-de-fava; pau-de-pito; pau-fava; piúma; rinha senca; sabueira
  • French Guiana: kabana-fau
  • Guyana: kashadan; marimari; riariadan; San Francisco marimari
  • Indonesia/Nusa Tenggara: kasingsat; keetjandoong
  • Lesser Antilles: canéficier bâtard
  • Mexico: cachimbo; chipilin; dblanco; dormilón; guaje cachimbo; guajillo; homiguerilla; picho guacamayo
  • Peru: mocairey; quillocaspi; quillosisa
  • Suriname: palaka
  • Venezuela: arrepillo; marupa; uña de gato

Subspecies

  • Senna multijuga subsp. doylei
  • Senna multijuga subsp. lindleyana
  • Senna multijuga subsp. lindleyana var. lindleyana
  • Senna multijuga subsp. lindleyana var. peregrinatr
  • Senna multijuga subsp. multijuga
  • Senna multijuga subsp. multijuga var. verrucosa

Summary of Invasiveness

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S. multijuga is a shrub or tree which is native to the northern part of South America but has naturalized in tropical regions around the world, where it has been introduced for cultivation as an attractive ornamental (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014; PIER, 2014). The species has escaped from cultivation and is listed in the Global Compendium of Weeds as a weed, cultivation escape, and garden thug (Randall, 2012). In addition to its ability to tolerate many soil types, it forms a persistent seed bank and its seeds are easily dispersed both by humans and wind. Once established in new areas, the species has been known to naturalize quickly. The species is known to be invasive in Hawaii (PIER, 2014).

Taxonomic Tree

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

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Until the beginning of the 1980s the genus Cassia was considered to be a very large genus of over 500 species. Bentham (1871) wrote that three groups within the Cassia genus were so distinct from one another that any species can always be unequivocally allocated to one of them; some main distinctions included fruit structure, stamen structure and arrangement, and nodulation (Lock, 1988). However it was not until 1982 that Irwin and Barneby formally separated Cassia into three genera: Cassia L. emend. Gaertner, Senna Miller, and Chamaecrista Moench; Cassia now has only about 30 species, whereas Senna and Chamaecrista comprise about equal numbers of species, about 260 and 270 respectively (Irwin and Barneby, 1982; Sosef and Maesen, 1997). These three genera are now largely accepted and together make up subtribe Cassinae. Cassia and Senna differ principally in stamen organization, and in arid areas of Australia, taxonomic distinctions between and within the three genera are blurred by polyploidy, hybridization and apoximis (Lewis et al., 2005). In 1988 Lock presented new names and combinations for the Cassinae species in Africa, noting that “if Cassia were to continue to be used in its broad sense in Africa, there would be several species which would be consistently given different names in different continents” (Lock, 1988).

Approximately 80% of the Senna genus’ 260 or so species occur in New World tropical and subtropical areas, extending into warm temperate and rarely into cool temperate areas of both hemispheres with species in Africa, Madagascar, Australia, and a few in southeastern Asia and the Pacific islands (Irwin and Barneby, 1982; Lock, 1988; Wagner et al., 2014).

The species S. multijuga varies much in stature, sometimes flowering as a softly woody arborescent shrub but capable of attaining the port and girth of a genuine forest tree. The vesture varies erratically in density, in quality, and independently in colour from whitish to golden-yellow, the filiform hairs being mixed in some populations both north and south of the Amazonian Hylaea with erect orange setules. Bentham (1871) commented on the range of flower size, which now appears to be both seasonal and genetic, although the determining factor is often open to conjecture [taken from Irwin and Barneby, 1982].

The phonetic variation analysis by Irwin and Barneby (1982) resulted in the species’ division into three major geographic blocs by the character of the stipules, blocs which also coincide with recognized patterns of floristic dispersal. The stipules of S. multijuga subsp. multijuga are inequilaterally dilated at base, with the herbaceous blade there 0.8-2.5 mm wide and undulately crimped or folded into itself; this subspecies is found in the Amazon Basin from south Goias, Brazil and Yungas, Bolivia northward to southeast Colombia, Guyana Highlands, the Guianas, Trinidad, and the southern tributaries of the Orinoco in Venezuela, as well as cultivated or naturalized (or both) in Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, West Indies, East Indies, and widely planted in tropical botanical gardens (Irwin and Barneby, 1982). Other subspecies are S. multijuga subsp. doylei and S. multijuga subsp. lindleyana.

Description

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Shrubs, small trees, or trees, 7-20(-40) m tall. Young parts generally puberulent; branchlets reddish brown when dry. Leaves 12-20 cm; stipules early caducous, linear; rachis and petiole puberulent, with a long, ovoid gland on rachis between lowest pair of leaflets (often early caducous); leaflets 10-26(-50) pairs, linear-oblong or oblong, 1.2-4 × 0.6-0.8 cm, both surfaces puberulent or adaxially glabrous, apex obtusely rounded, mucronate, slightly oblique. Racemes several, arranged in a terminal, leafy panicle 10-20(-40) cm; peduncle and pedicels puberulent. Flowers 2.5-4 cm in diam.; bracts ovate, ca. 2 mm, tomentose. Sepals greenish yellow when ma­ture, slightly unequal, 5-6 mm. Petals yellow, ovate-oblong, 1-2(-3) cm, glabrous. Fertile stamens 7, 3 larger, with filament ca. 10 mm and anthers 6-7 mm, staminodes 3, tiny. Ovary linear, glabrous. Legume dark brown, flat, broadly linear, obtuse. Seeds 30-60, flattened, ca. 6 mm (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014).

Plant Type

Top of page Perennial
Seed propagated
Shrub
Tree
Woody

Distribution

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S. multijuga is native to the northern part of South America. It is also listed as native to Mexico by USDA-ARS (2014), but is exotic according to Acevedo-Rodriguez and Strong (2012). ILDIS (2014) also lists it as native to parts of Malaysia and Indonesia.

Distribution Table

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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.

Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Planted Reference Notes

Africa

GhanaPresentHanelt et al. (2001); ILDIS (2014)
KenyaPresentIntroducedILDIS (2014)
SeychellesPresentIntroducedILDIS (2014)
Sierra LeonePresentIntroducedILDIS (2014)
South AfricaPresentIntroducedILDIS (2014)
TanzaniaPresentHanelt et al. (2001); ILDIS (2014)
UgandaPresentIntroducedILDIS (2014)
ZambiaPresentIntroducedILDIS (2014)
ZimbabwePresentIntroducedILDIS (2014)

Asia

BangladeshPresentPlantedCABI (Undated b)
ChinaPresentFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014); PIER (2014)
-GuangdongPresentIntroducedILDIS (2014)
Hong KongPresentIntroducedPIER (2014)Cultivated
IndiaPresentIntroducedPlantedILDIS (2014)
-KarnatakaPresentIntroducedILDIS (2014)
-Uttar PradeshPresentIntroducedILDIS (2014)
-West BengalPresentIntroducedILDIS (2014)
IndonesiaPresentILDIS (2014); Hanelt et al. (2001)Native to Java; introduced elsewhere
-JavaPresentNativePlantedILDIS (2014)
-SumatraPresentNativePlantedILDIS (2014)
MalaysiaPresentPlantedILDIS (2014)Native to Peninsular Malaysia; introduced elsewhere
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresentNativeILDIS (2014)
SingaporePresentIntroducedChong et al. (2009); USDA-ARS (2014)Cultivated only
Sri LankaPresentHanelt et al. (2001); ILDIS (2014)

Europe

PortugalPresentCABI (Undated a)Present based on regional distribution.
-MadeiraPresentIntroducedDAISIE (2014)

North America

BarbadosPresent, WidespreadIntroducedBroome et al. (2007)
British Virgin IslandsPresentPlantedCABI (Undated b)
Costa RicaPresentPlantedUSDA-ARS (2014)
CubaPresentPlantedCABI (Undated b)
El SalvadorPresentIntroducedILDIS (2014)
GrenadaPresent, WidespreadIntroducedBroome et al. (2007)
GuadeloupePresent, WidespreadIntroducedBroome et al. (2007)
GuatemalaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2014)
HondurasPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2014)
MartiniquePresentPlantedBroome et al. (2007)
MexicoPresentAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012); ILDIS (2014); USDA-ARS (2014)
NicaraguaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2014)
PanamaPresentPlantedIrwin and Barneby (1982)
Puerto RicoPresentPlantedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2014)
Saint LuciaPresent, WidespreadIntroducedBroome et al. (2007)
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesPresent, WidespreadIntroducedBroome et al. (2007)
Trinidad and TobagoPresentPlantedIrwin and Barneby (1982)
U.S. Virgin IslandsPresentPlantedCABI (Undated b)
United StatesPresentIntroducedILDIS (2014)
-CaliforniaPresentPlantedCABI (Undated b)
-FloridaPresentPlantedCABI (Undated b)
-HawaiiPresentPlantedPIER (2014); USDA-ARS (2014)

Oceania

FijiPresentPlantedPIER (2014)
French PolynesiaPresentIntroducedPIER (2014)
New CaledoniaPresentIntroducedPIER (2014)
New ZealandPresentIntroducedILDIS (2014)
Papua New GuineaPresentIntroducedILDIS (2014)

South America

ArgentinaPresentHanelt et al. (2001)
BoliviaPresentIrwin and Barneby (1982); USDA-ARS (2014); CABI (Undated)
BrazilPresentCABI (Undated)
-AcrePresentUSDA-ARS (2014)
-AmapaPresentUSDA-ARS (2014)
-AmazonasPresentUSDA-ARS (2014)
-BahiaPresentUSDA-ARS (2014); CABI (Undated)
-Espirito SantoPresentUSDA-ARS (2014); CABI (Undated)
-GoiasPresentPlantedIrwin and Barneby (1982); USDA-ARS (2014); CABI (Undated)
-MaranhaoPresentUSDA-ARS (2014)
-Mato GrossoPresentCABI (Undated b)
-Minas GeraisPresentUSDA-ARS (2014); CABI (Undated)
-ParaPresentUSDA-ARS (2014)
-ParanaPresentPlantedUSDA-ARS (2014); CABI (Undated)
-Rio de JaneiroPresentPlantedUSDA-ARS (2014); CABI (Undated)
-Rio Grande do SulPresentNativeCABI (Undated)Original citation: Forzza et al. (2014)
-RoraimaPresentUSDA-ARS (2014)
-Santa CatarinaPresentUSDA-ARS (2014); CABI (Undated)
-Sao PauloPresentPlantedUSDA-ARS (2014); CABI (Undated)
ColombiaPresentPlantedPIER (2014)
EcuadorPresentUSDA-ARS (2014)
French GuianaPresentFunk et al. (2007); USDA-ARS (2014)
GuyanaPresentFunk et al. (2007); USDA-ARS (2014)
PeruPresentPIER (2014); USDA-ARS (2014)
SurinamePresentFunk et al. (2007); USDA-ARS (2014)
VenezuelaPresentFunk et al. (2007); USDA-ARS (2014)

History of Introduction and Spread

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S. multijuga is considered a Neotropical member of the Senna genus and has been widely introduced to tropical regions around the world as an ornamental (Irwin and Barneby, 1982; see Distribution Table). The species has been recorded in Argentina, Central America and the West Indies, but evidence of its native status in these places remains elusive (Irwin and Barneby, 1982). It was present in Mexico by 1893, as it was reportedly “widely spread in tropical America, from Mexico to South Brazil” by then (as syn. Cassia multijuga) (Kew Bulletin, 1893).

Date of introduction of the species to the West Indies is uncertain. According to Irwin and Barneby (1982), “introductions, from Trinidad to Puerto Rico, a setulose form of var. multijuga into Martinique, of var. lindleyana was introduced into Fiji, very likely from Rio de Janeiro, and into California from Sao Paolo, Brazil, are a matter of record, but the origin of much of the material planted in the American tropics as a garden or street tree is lost to view”. The species was included in George Don’s 1832 work on dichlamydeous plants, and reported to be “native to Cayenne”, French Guiana (Don, 1832). It was reported to occur in St. Vincent, Guiana and Argentina in Grisebach’s Flora of the British West Indies (1859-1864), and was recorded as common on St. Vincent and adjacent islands by 1893 (Kew Bulletin, 1893). In Trinidad, the species was being cultivated by 1870 (Prestoe, 1870). It must be a relatively recent introduction to Puerto Rico, however, as it was not included in Bello Espinosa’s 1881-1883 flora.

S. multijuga has been cultivated in Hawaii since at least the 1920s, as the oldest specimen in the Bishop Herbarium is from a cultivated shrub collected in 1926. In Asia, it may have been spread by the Dutch in colonial times (Irwin and Barneby, 1982). While generally regarded as native to northern South America, ILDIS (2014) lists it as native to Peninsula Malaysia and Java.

Risk of Introduction

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Risk of introduction for this species is high. It received a PIER Risk Assessment Score of 7 [a score greater than 6 = reject the plant for import (Australia) and likely to be of high risk (Pacific and Florida, USA)], indicating that it poses a high risk of becoming a serious pest based on current evidence. The species possesses several key invasive traits including adaptability to various soil types, prolific and persistent seed production and dispersal, and broad elevation range. Probability of invasion therefore remains high, especially in areas where the species is cultivated (PIER, 2014).

Habitat

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S. multijuga can be found in disturbed forests and riverine forests, as well as forest islands and gallery forests within savannahs and cerrado. Its natural distribution ranges from Mexico to southern Brazil and Bolivia, but the species becomes naturalized readily and has been widely introduced outside its native range due to its use as an ornamental plant. In Bolivia, the species can be found in lowland rainforest and Amazonian Savannas vegetation zones (Bolivia Checklist, 2014; PIER, 2014).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Cultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Natural
Cultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Natural
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural forests Present, no further details Natural
Scrub / shrublands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Scrub / shrublands Present, no further details Natural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

Gametophytic count = 12; sporophytic count = 24 (IPCN Chromosome Reports, 2014).

Reproductive Biology

Within its natural distribution, S. multijuga usually produces a profuse bloom of bright yellow flowers during the middle to late rainy season. Seed dormancy is common, although the time that seeds remain viable in the soil is not known. Research has shown that mechanical scarification of the seeds greatly increases germination rate (Lemos Filho et al., 1997).

Environmental Requirements

S. multijuga is found in the Amazonian regions of South America, and thrives in both tropical and temperate climate regions (Flora of Nicaragua, 2014; Vascular Plants of Ecuador, 2014). The species prefers low elevations. In Bolivia it occurs at 0-500 m, while in Ecuador and Panama it can be found from 0 to 1000 m (Bolivia Checklist 2014; Panama Checklist, 2014; Vascular Plants of Ecuador, 2014). Due to its capacity to form mycorrhizal associations in soil (Pereira et al., 1996), S. multijuga can tolerate poor or infertile soils, and is commonly found on slightly acidic soils.

 

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
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])
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
22 -29 50 1100

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) 0
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 15 30
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 25 30
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) 15 25

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration26number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall10004500mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Summer
Uniform

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free
  • seasonally waterlogged

Soil reaction

  • acid

Soil texture

  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • infertile

Notes on Natural Enemies

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S. multijuga is considered relatively disease-free, but there are a number of bruchid beetles that predate on the seeds (Ribeiro and Reynaud, 1998). 

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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S. multijuga is spread by movement of seeds, which are produced in large quantities and remain viable for over a year. The species is intentionally spread by humans for use as ornamental trees. It is a pioneer species suitable for mixed plantations and used to regenerate degraded areas, as well as for shade in pastures and plantations. It is known to have unintentionally escaped cultivation in some areas, and can be spread by both biotic and abiotic vectors, as the seeds are adapted for wind dispersal. 

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Escape from confinement or garden escape Yes Yes
Garden waste disposalSpecies is known to have escaped garden cultivation Yes Yes PIER, 2014; Randall, 2012
Habitat restoration and improvementPioneer species, used as shade tree in agroforestry and to regenerate degraded areas due to its nitr Yes Yes PIER, 2014
Landscape improvementIntentionally cultivated as a hedge tree in tropical regions around the world Yes Yes Flora of Nicaragua, 2014; Hanelt et al., 2001; PIER, 2014
Medicinal useOne of the Senna species locally used for traditional medicine Yes Flora of Nicaragua, 2014; Hanelt et al., 2001; PIER, 2014
Ornamental purposesPrimary reason for introduction to areas outside of species’ native range Yes Yes Flora of Nicaragua, 2014; Hanelt et al., 2001; PIER, 2014
Self-propelledSeed is adapted for wind dispersal Yes PIER, 2014

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Soil, sand and gravelSoil in areas where species is cultivated may be contaminated with seeds and dispersed Yes Yes
WindSeed is adapted for wind dispersal Yes PIER, 2014

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Economic/livelihood Positive and negative
Environment (generally) Positive and negative

Environmental Impact

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S. multijuga has been valued for use as an ornamental plant, a hedge/shade plant, pasture plant, and a soil improver, and intentionally introduced and cultivated to Asia-Pacific, Australia, North America and Europe. However, the species has been identified as a potential threat to the environment due to its invasive traits, including its broad elevation range, its tolerance of a range of soil types, multiple vectors for seed dispersal, seed viability, and being a member of a weedy genus. 

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Long lived
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
Impact outcomes
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Reduced native biodiversity
Impact mechanisms
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately

Uses

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Although the wood of S. multijuga has no apparent industrial use, it is regarded as a handsome ornamental tree which grows rapidly, is relatively disease-free and flowers prolifically. It is commonly planted in gardens and parks. The species is often used for shade in pastures and cocoa plantations, and recent research has focused on land reclamation potential after disturbance (Faria et al., 1997), nitrogen fixing capacity (Pereira et al., 1996), and nutritional efficiency studies (Silva et al., 1996; Silva et al., 1997).

Hanelt et al. (2011) report the following uses for several Senna species, including S. multijuga: the species is grown in plantations and cultivated areas for green manuring, shade, and as a hedge plant; the seeds are used as a coffee substitute; the leaves, young shoots and young seeds are eaten as vegetables; and various parts of the plant are used in traditional medicine.

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Agroforestry
  • Boundary, barrier or support
  • Erosion control or dune stabilization
  • Revegetation
  • Soil improvement

General

  • Ornamental

Human food and beverage

  • Beverage base
  • Pulse
  • Vegetable

Materials

  • Green manure

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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Considering the invasiveness of many other members of Senna and the invasive traits this species possesses, further research is needed to better gauge the extent of its invasiveness, particularly in areas where it has been introduced and naturalized, and into methods of diagnosis and control of its spread.

References

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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. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

Acevedo-Rodríguez P; Strong MT, 2014. Flora of the West Indies website: Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies. Washington DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution. http://botany.si.edu/antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

Bello D, 1883. [English title not available]. (Apuntes para la flora de Puerto Rico. Segunda parte. Monoclamídeas.) Anales de la Sociedad Española de Historia Natural, 12:103-130.

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Distribution References

Acevedo-Rodríguez P, Strong M T, 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies. Washington, DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution. 1192 pp. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

Acevedo-Rodríguez P, Strong MT, 2014. Flora of the West Indies website: Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies., Washington DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution. http://botany.si.edu/antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

Broome R, Sabir K, Carrington S, 2007. Plants of the Eastern Caribbean., Barbados: University of the West Indies. http://ecflora.cavehill.uwi.edu/index.html

CABI, Undated. Compendium record. Wallingford, UK: CABI

CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status inferred from regional distribution. Wallingford, UK: CABI

CABI, Undated b. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI

Chong K Y, Tan H T W, Corlett R T, 2009. A checklist of the total vascular plant flora of Singapore: native, naturalised and cultivated species. Singapore: Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore. 273 pp. https://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/app/uploads/2017/04/flora_of_singapore_tc.pdf

DAISIE, 2014. Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe. http://www.europe-aliens.org/

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014. Flora of China., St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria. http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2

Funk V, Hollowell T, Berry P, Kelloff C, Alexander S N, 2007. Contributions from the United States National Herbarium, Washington, USA: Department of Systematic Biology - Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. 55, 584 pp.

Hanelt P, Buttner R, Mansfeld R, 2001. Mansfeld's Encyclopedia of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops (except Ornamentals). Berlin, Germany: Springer. 539 pp.

ILDIS, 2014. International Legume Database and Information Service., Reading, UK: School of Plant Sciences, University of Reading. http://www.ildis.org/

Irwin H S, Barneby R C, 1982. The American Cassiinae: a synoptical revision of Leguminosae tribe Cassieae subtribe Cassiinae in the New World. Bronx, New York, USA: New York Botanical Garden. v + 918 pp.

PIER, 2014. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk., Honolulu, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

USDA-ARS, 2014. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx

Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
Catalogue of Seed Plants of the West Indieshttp://botany.si.edu/antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
USFS Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)http://www.hear.org/pier/

Contributors

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02/04/2014 Original text by:

Marianne Jennifer Datiles, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

Pedro Acevedo-Rodríguez, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

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