Domestication of senna obtusifolia, an important leafy vegetable for the Sahel uri icon


  • Senna obtusifolia (syn. Cassia obtusifolia) is a herbaceous plant, grows in the Sahelian and the Sudano regions of sub-Saharan Africa and regarded as one of the leading indigenous leafy vegetables of the Sahel. In 2006, two sets of trials were carried out at the Sadore station of ICRISAT in order to evaluate the potential of S. obtusifolia as a new rain-fed crop for the Sahel. The high density planting (0.5 x 0.5 m) gave significantly higher leaf, seeds and stems yields (1, 1 and 2.5 t/ha respectively) on a dry matter basis than the lower density treatments. S. obtusifolia can provide food to the rural population during August and September at a time that grain reserves from the previous year harvest have been exhausted. S. obtusifolia is high in protein, fibers, and minerals. S. obtusifolia gave high leaf yield (1 t/ha dry weight) when planted as an intercrop in young Acacia Senegal plantations both on sandy and on degraded lateritic soils but a very low leaf yield (100 kg/ha) when planted in a mature A. Senegal plantation. S. obtusifolia has a good potential to serve as a new important field crop for the Sahel

publication date

  • 2007