The Glorious Sjambok Pod

It is that amazing time of year again in the Timbavati when golden bursts of yellow can be seen all across the savanna. The Sjambok Pod (Cassia abbreiata) is in full bloom, with dark yellow flowers sprouting from the ends of every branch of this deciduous tree. Usually, this tree is identified by its long tail-like seedpod. In the springtime, it turns into a gorgeous color that makes it one of the most outstanding small trees in the Lowveld.

The fact that these gorgeous flowers only last about four weeks makes them that much more special. The long velvety pods remain and are also fairly impressive as they can reach up to one meter in length. In fact, the other common name for the Sjambok Pod is Long-tail Cassia. Although ignored by all the browsers, the pods are an absolute favorite with both vervet monkeys and baboons.

In terms of traditional medicinal uses many different parts of the tree are used for these purposes. If one is to inhale the smoke of burning branches from the Sjambok Pod it will cure a headache. The roots are even more diverse and can be used to treat toothache, stomach ache, black water fever and even bilharzia.

Pictures credit of Luke Street


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