Cañandonga ( Cassia grandis L.). Deciduous trees that can become quite large and corpulent, and individuals of 20-30 meters in height are not uncommon, they have a broad and dome-shaped or half-sphere crown, which is possible thanks to a large number of very long and arched branches. The trunk is almost perfectly cylindrical and uniform, with a rather smooth and light gray bark, covered with the horizontal scars left by the branches that have previously come off. These scars disappear as the trunk grows thicker. The strong orange color of the bark on its inner part is very remarkable. The leaves are compound and alternate, perfectly paripinate, with 20 to 40 leaflets, always in even number.


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  • 1 Taxonomy
    • 1 Scientific name
      • 1.1 Authors
    • 2 Combinations for this basonym
    • 3 Synonymy
    • 4 Common name
  • 2 Distribution
    • 1 In Cuba
  • 3 Features
    • 1 Flowering
    • 2 Uses
    • 3 Attributed medicinal properties
  • 4 References
  • 5 Sources


Scientific name

  • Cassia grandis Lf [1] [2] [3] [4]


  • Linnaeus, Carl von f.
  • Published in: Supplementum Plantarum 230. 1781[ 1782 ]. (Apr 1782 ) [5]

Combinations for this basonym

  • Cathartocarpus grandis (L. f.) Pers.




  • Bactyrilobium grande Hornem.
  • Bactyrilobium molle Schrad.
  • Cassia brasiliana Lam.
  • Cassia brasiliana var. tomentosa Miq.
  • Cassia brasiliensis Buc’hoz
  • Cassia mollis Vahl
  • Cassia pachycarpa de Wit
  • Cassia regia Standl.
  • Cathartocarpus brasilianus (Lam.) Jacq.
  • Cathartocarpus erubescens Ham.
  • Cathartocarpus grandis (L. f.) Pers. [7] [8] [9]

Common name

  • Carao, cañandonga, cañafístola, cañafistula or cañafistula cimarrona.



It is distributed in Central America , the coastal areas of the Antilles and in some regions of South America .

In Cuba

It is very common in Santiago de Cuba , especially in the city.


Native to Central America , northern South America and the Antilles . In Cuba it is found naturally throughout the Island, mainly in the eastern provinces.

It is also known as the carao , Caña fistula cimarrona in Cuba; stinking toe or bukut in Belize ; coral shower tree , pink shower tree or rainbow shower among English speakers.


Cañandonga fruit

Inflorescences are terminal and axillary clusters of pink flowers along the entire branch. They have a sweet aroma. It blooms from February to March.

It bears fruit in pods with an oval section, hard shell, about 60-70 cm long and 3-4 thick, they present a prominent rib in the dorsal Suture and 2 in the Ventral , light green when they are tender and black when ripe. . Internally, the fruit is divided into a large number of flat cells separated by a woody wall. Inside each cell is a seed immersed in a dark brown, honeyed mass, with a very penetrating odor and a very particular taste, pleasant to some people and unpleasant to others. The seeds are just over 1 centimeter long, almond shaped, and their cover or shell is very hard, smooth and reddish brown.


The fruit is edible and is used to produce fresh beverages that are said to have hemolyzing properties and for livestock feed. The dried and pulverized pulp is used to make an infusion similar to coffee . Its woody parts are good as fuel (firewood). The wood is of low quality and can only be used for ordinary jobs such as box construction, temporary jobs etc.

Attributed medicinal properties

Fruits : laxative , refreshing, pectoral, purifying and abortive. Flowers : Sedative Root , like that of Rauwolfia : Alcoholic maceration to treat wounds and other skin conditions, feverish Bark : Antirheumatic and for skin conditions.


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