Growing Caesalpinia Decapetala: A Gardener’s Handbook

Caesalpinia decapetala is the seed of the plant Caesalpinia decapetala (Roth) Alston from the Fabaceae family. It is distributed in the tropical and temperate regions of Asia.

It is known for its detoxifying and dampness-removing properties, as well as its ability to relieve coughs, dissolve phlegm, and eliminate parasites. It is used to treat dysentery, malaria, chronic bronchitis, pediatric malnutrition, and parasitic infestations.

I. Morphological Characteristics

Caesalpinia decapetala

Mauritius thorn is also known by various names such as Yun Ying, Cao Yun Mu, Chou Cao, Yang Shi Zi Cao, Lao Hu Ci Jian, Shan Ci, Shui Zao Jiao, Hu Tou Ci, Dao Gua Ci, Yan Wang Ci, Pa Qiang Ci, Mao Zhua Ci, Dou Mi Chong Shu, Dao Da Ci, Shan You Zao, and Huang Hua Ci.

It is a climbing plant with dark red bark; its branches, leaf axes, and inflorescences are covered with soft hairs and hook-like thorns.

The bipinnate compound leaves are 20-30 centimeters long; there are 3-10 pairs of pinnae, opposite, petiolate, with a pair of thorns at the base; the leaflets are in 8-12 pairs, membranous, oblong, 10-25 millimeters long, 6-12 millimeters wide, with both ends being nearly rounded and blunt, covered with short soft hairs on both sides, becoming glabrous with age; stipules are small, obliquely ovate, tapering to a point, and deciduous early.

Caesalpinia decapetala

The terminal raceme is erect, 15-30 centimeters long, with many flowers; the peduncle is thorny; the pedicel is 3-4 centimeters long, hairy, with a joint below the calyx, making the flower easily detachable; the sepals are 5 in number, oblong, covered with short soft hairs; petals are yellow, membranous, round or obovate, 10-12 millimeters long, reflexed when open, with a short stalk at the base; the stamens are almost as long as the petals, with filaments flat at the base and woolly in the lower part; the ovary is hairless.

The pod is oblong and tongue-shaped, 6-12 centimeters long, 2.5-3 centimeters wide, brittle and leathery, chestnut brown, glabrous, glossy, with a narrow wing along the ventral suture, splitting along the ventral suture when mature, with a pointed beak at the tip; there are 6-9 seeds, elliptical, about 11 millimeters long and about 6 millimeters wide, with brown seed coats.

The flowering and fruiting period is from April to October.

II. Growth Environment

It grows in mountainous shrublands as well as in plains, hills, and riverbanks. It is found in the tropical and temperate regions of Asia.

Leave a Comment