Martha's exotic Backyard in Israel

Cassia fistula, Bactyrilobium fistula, Golden rain tree,
Hebrew: כסיית האבוב, Arabic: خيار شمبر

Scientific name:  Cassia fistula L.
Synonym name:  Bactyrilobium fistula Willd.,Cassia bonplandiana DC.,Cassia excelsa Kunth, Cassia fistuloides Collad., Cassia rhombifolia Roxb., Cathartocarpus excelsus G.Don, Cathartocarpus fistula Pers., Cathartocarpus fistuloides (Collad.) G.Don, Cathartocarpus rhombifolius G.Don
Common name:  Golden rain tree
Hebrew name:  כסיית האבוב
Arabic name:  khiār shambar, خيار شمبر
Family:  Fabaceae, Mimosaceae, שיטיים

Cassia fistula, Bactyrilobium fistula, Golden rain tree, Hebrew: כסיית האבוב, Arabic: خيار شمبر

Life form:  fast growing, medium sized, deciduous tree
Stems:  Stembark contains lupeol, beta-sitosterol, and hexacosanol
Leaves:   Alternate, pinnate, 30-40 cm long, with 4-8 pairs of ovate leaflets, 7.5-15 cm long, 2-5 cm broad, entire, the petiolules 2-6 mm lon
Inflorescence:  Pendulous racemes 20-40cm long
Flowers:  Yellow, 5 petals, stamens 10, the upper ones sterile, the 4 lateral ones with short filaments and basal pores, the lower ones fertile with pores at both ends and filaments S-shaped
Fruits / pods:  cylindrical pods with the seeds imbedded in a stick brown pulp
Flowering Period:  June, July, August
Distribution:  Coastal area, Shfela (lowland region in south-central Israel), the Jordan Valley and the Arava
Chorotype:  India
Summer shedding:  Perenating

Cassia fistula, Bactyrilobium fistula, Golden rain tree, Hebrew: כסיית האבוב, Arabic: خيار شمبر


Derivation of the botanical name:
Cassia, Latin cassia, from Greek kasia, from Hebrew q'tsi-ah "cassia, meaning to cut off or strip off bark.
fistula, like a pipe.
  • The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.

Cassia fistula, the Golden shower is an important medicinal plant in addition to its ornamental use. Several reports on the hepatoprotective, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antitussive, antifungal, antibacterial, nematicidal, wound healing, antifertility, hypocholesterlamic, laxative, antifertility and antitumor activities have been extensively published.
Cassia fistula has many important utilities such as medicinal, food, coagulant, biosorbent and as a natural dye source apart from its use as a beautiful ornamental tree.
  • Cassia is first mentioned in Hebrew medical literature by the physician Assaf (Asaph ben Berechiah, Assaf HaRofeh, sixth century?), a physician who gave his name to a Hebrew book on medicine, Sefer Asaf ha-Rofe.
  • In a guidebook 'Practica della mercatura (Italian for "The Practice of Commerce") written by the Italian Francesco Balducci Pegolotti (1340), the Cassia fistula is mentioned, including its sale in the city of Acre under Crusader rule. Pegolotti operated as agent of the Bardi, a Florentine mercantile and banking firm. Pegolotti lists explicitly Cassia fistola in his section on goods imported to Acre by sea. Cassia fistula, a purgative, may have either come from India or from Egypt.
  • Rabbi Isaac (ben Solomon) Luria Ashkenazi (1534 – 1572), the Ari, a famous kabbalist leader in Safed, traded in these fruits during his stay in Egypt.
  • Frederick Hasselquist (1722 – 1752), a Swedish traveller and naturalist, describes the cultivation of the plant in Egypt and the preparation of its fruit for curative purposes: 'I have seen and described this pant in a fertile plain, near the canal, which leads from the Nile to Alexandria... The Arabs call it Hearsciambar.


  • Cassia fistula, Bactyrilobium fistula, Golden rain tree, Hebrew: כסיית האבוב, Arabic: خيار شمبر


    Cassia fistula, Bactyrilobium fistula, Golden rain tree, Hebrew: כסיית האבוב, Arabic: خيار شمبر