Scientific Name
Common Names
Naturalised Distribution
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Click on images to enlarge

habit (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

habit in flower (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

habit with mature fruit (Photo: Forest and Kim Starr, USGS)

large compound leaves (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

close-up of large leaflets (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

leaflet undersides (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

drooping flower clusters (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

flowers showing three long stamens, four short stamens and three partially-formed stamens (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

older flower with cuved style and stigma (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

immature fruit (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

elongated mature fruit (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

close-up of opened mature fruit showing seeds (Photo: Forest and Kim Starr, USGS)

growing on the bank of the Brisbane River in St. Lucia (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

habit in flower (Photo: Forest and Kim Starr, USGS)

greyish bark on main trunk (Photo: Forest and Kim Starr, USGS)

new growth with large once-compound leaves (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

close-up of seed (Photo: Tracey Slotta at USDA PLANTS Database)

Leichhardt bean (Cassia brewsteri), with orange flowers and narrower leaflets (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

the ribbed fruit of Leichhardt bean, Cassia brewsteri (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

Cassia fistula

Scientific Name

Cassia fistula L.


Bactrilobium fistula (L.) Willd.
Cassia excelsa Humb., Bonpl. & Kunth
Cassia fistuloides Collad.
Cassia rhombifolia Roxb.
Cathartocarpus excelsus (Humb., Bonpl. & Kunth) G. Don
Cathartocarpus fistula (L.) Pers.
Cathartocarpus fistuloides (Collad.) G. Don
Cathartocarpus rhombifolius (Roxb.) G. Don


Caesalpiniaceae (Queensland, the ACT, Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia and the Northern Territory)
Fabaceae: sub-family Caesalpinioideae (New South Wales)
Leguminosae (South Australia)

Common Names

golden shower, golden shower tree, Indian laburnum, pudding-pipe tree, purging cassia


Native to south-eastern Asia.

Naturalised Distribution

Naturalised in northern, central and south-eastern Queensland and near Darwin in the north-western parts of the Northern Territory. Also becoming naturalised in the northern parts of Western Australia (i.e. on Koolan Island and in the King Leopold Range).


This small tree is widely cultivated in the sub-tropical and tropical regions of Australia. Golden shower (Cassia fistula) has escaped cultivation and is regarded as an environmental weed in the Northern Territory and Queensland. It is actively managed by community groups in the Northern Territory.