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Home » Plant infomation

Caesalpinia benthamiana  (Baill.) Herend. & Zarucchi


Botanical Name


Caesalpinia benthamiana (Baill.) Herend. & Zarucchi



Mezoneuron benthamianum Baill.





General Info


Climbing or straggling shrub with stems up to 20 m long and up to 8 cm in diameter, armed with recurved spines. Leaves alternate, bipinnately compound, with 5–6 pairs of pinnae; stipules small, inconspicuous; petiole 5–10 cm long, swollen at base, rachis 15–20 cm long with recurved spines, especially at base of pinnae; leaflets alternate, c. 5 pairs per pinna, elliptical, 3–4 cm × 1.5–2.5 cm, base and apex rounded, glabrous. Inflorescence a branched or unbranched terminal raceme up to 20 cm long, hairy, densely flowered. Flowers bisexual, zygomorphic, 5-merous; pedicel 5–10 mm long; sepals free, unequal, the lower one hood-shaped and embracing the others; petals free, unequal, 2–2.5 cm wide, yellow, the upper one larger; stamens 10, free, c. 11 mm long, hairy; ovary superior, style slender. Fruit a linear-oblong, flattened pod c. 10 cm × 2–2.5 cm, thin, reflexed, indehiscent, winged along upper suture, wing 3–5 mm wide, bright red to pink, 4–6-seeded.

Herb Effects

Depurative and masticatory (leaves); aphrodisiac (stems and roots)


PROTAbase: Caesalpinia benthamiana



Medicinal Use

An infusion of the dried roots is drunk or used as a bath against general malaise. A decoction of roots, bark and leaves is used to cure urethral discharge. The stem liquid is dropped in the eye to cure inflammation and cataract. The stems and roots are used for dental hygiene, to sooth toothache. Leaves are applied as a paste to treat snakebites and taken internally to treat colic. A watery macerate of leafy twigs, mashed-up leaves or leaf ash is used to treat wounds, skin infections, piles and ulcers. Patients suffering from hookworm or guinea-worm eat the young leaves as a treatment. Patients suffering from impotence related to venereal diseases are prescribed a macerate of leafy twigs. A root decoction is drunk to cure dysentery. The roots are added to palm wine to increase the strength or its aphrodisiac properties.



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