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Cassia grandis - Carao


Native to:



Central and southern Central America, northern South America, the Caribbean.

Low altitude climates, roadsides, pastures. 10-1200 meters above sea level. 20 meters tall.

Cassia grandis - Carao

Ecological value:

Fast growing pioneer, suitable for reforestation projects. Pollinated by insects. Belongs to the Fabaceae family which form relationships with beneficial bacteria that are able to fix atmospheric nitrogen. The nitrogen can be shared with neighboring plants. Wide range of soil types.

Material uses:

Wood, heavy, coarse, but not durable. Used for internal building construction, agricultural implements, fence posts. Fuel wood. Ashes from wood used in soaps. Seeds contain gum which can be used as a binder.

Edible uses:

Pulp surrounding the seeds in the pods is edible, but may act as a laxative.

Medicinal use:

Treats ringworm, mange infections in dogs. Seeds used as a laxative.

Other details:

Can become invasive outside its native range. Known as Pink Shower Tree. Cassia spp. are used as food plants for moth and butterfly caterpillars. The genus is comprised of 37 species.


Liam Pitts/Christine Facella


“Cassia Grandis L.f. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science.” n.d. Plants of the World Online. Accessed November 28, 2023.
“Cassia Grandis - Useful Tropical Plants.” n.d.
‌Lorenzi. H., ‘Brazilian Trees. Volume 1. 4th Edition’, Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil, 2002
Facciola. S., ‘Cornucopia II’, Kampong Publications, California, 1998
Image source: Haplochromis and DXLINH

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