top of page

Common Names: Long-pod Cassia, Munsokansoko, Mululu, Kapatati, Mululwe, Mkoswe
Family: Fabaceae (Legume Family) Caesalpinoideae


Growth Form, Habitat and Distribution 
A deciduous shrub or small tree, often crooked, multi-stemmed with an open rounded crown. Occurs widely across Zambia often on termite mounds, and in most woodland types, except parts of Western Province. 

Size     Height up to 14m, spread 4 to 8m.
Bark    Reddish, becoming dark grey-brown, fissured and cracked. 
Leaves    Compound, paripinnate, drooping, up to 30cm long with 7 to 12 pairs of opposite pinnae without glands, each with 5 to 15, ovate, dull green leaflets (3 to 6cm) velvety in new leaflets. Petiole 2.5cm.
Flowers    Dioecious. Fragrant large yellow (4.5cm) in open terminal sprays (15 to 20cm) before the new leaves, mainly September to November.
Fruit     Cylindrical, brown, velvety pod (up to 90cm) at ends of branchlets, ripening December to April, containing numerous flat brown seeds in a sticky pulp separated by septa. Pods often remain on the tree for several months.
Uses    An extract of the roots has sometimes been used by traditional medicine to treat blackwater fever but is otherwise regarded as poisonous. Grows fairly well and makes a good garden plant. A food plant for several inspect species.
Other species in Zambia: One other species (Cassia angolensis) with limited distribution and two subspecies of Cassia abbreviata.

Cassia abbreviata

    bottom of page