Family: Caesalpiniaceae
type : Deciduous, Evergreen, Perennials, Shrubs
sun exposure : Full Sun, Partial Shade
water : Moderate Water, Regular Water
Plant Details

Previously included in Cassia and still often sold as such, these species have been reclassified as Senna. Grown for their lavish show of yellow, five-petaled flowers that look something like those of potentilla. Blossoms are followed by seedpods that may create litter; to reduce pod production, prune lightly after bloom. Rangy, rank growers should also be cut back periodically to encourage more compact growth. Good for screens, massing, background plantings. Prefer well-drained soil.

candlestick senna

senna alata

  • Evergreen shrub.
  • Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11.
  • Native to many tropical regions of the world.
  • May reach 30 feet tall and half as wide, but more likely to be 610 feet tall and 34 feet wide in gardens.
  • Bright green leaves divided into 14 to 28 oblong leaflets, each 212 inches long.
  • Golden yellow, inch-wide flowers in big, spikelike clusters appear from fall into winter.
  • Prune hard after bloom.

feathery cassia

senna artemisioides

  • Evergreen shrub.
  • Zones LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11.
  • Native to Australia.
  • To 35 feet tall and wide, with attractive light, airy structure.
  • Gray leaves divided into six to eight needlelike, 1 inches-long leaflets.
  • Bears bright yellow, 34 inches flowers in clusters of five to eight in winter and spring, with bloom often continuing into summer.
  • Heavy seed production.
  • Very drought tolerant but looks better with moderate to regular water.

christmas senna

senna bicapsularis

  • Evergreen shrub.
  • Zones LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11.
  • Native to tropical Central and South America.
  • Recovers after being killed to ground by frost.
  • To 10 feet tall and wide.
  • Bright green leaves with six to ten roundish, rather thick leaflets, each to 34 inches long.
  • Bright yellow, 12 inches-wide flowers in spikelike clusters from midautumn to midwinter or until cut down by frost.
  • Prune severely after flowering.
  • Resembles Senna pendula glabrata, which can be quite invasive; buy from a trusted source to be sure you are getting the true Senna bicapsularis.

flowery senna

senna corymbosa

  • Evergreen shrub.
  • Zones LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11.
  • Native to South America.
  • Rangy growth to 10 feet tall, 1012 feet wide.
  • Dark green leaves with six narrow, oblong, 1- to 2 inches leaflets.
  • Rounded clusters of 112 inches bright yellow flowers, spring to fall.
  • Self-sowing can be a problem.

velvet-leaf senna

senna lindheimeriana

  • Perennial.
  • Zones LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11.
  • Native to Texas, Arizona, Mexico.
  • Usually slender and upright to 23 feet tall, but may reach 6 feet tall, 2 feet wide.
  • Velvety gray leaves are divided into 8 to 16 narrowly oval, pointed leaflets, each 12 inches long.
  • Rich yellow, 112 inches-wide flowers in late summer and fall.
  • Grows well in caliche soils.
  • Not a good choice for high-rainfall areas or heavily watered gardens; it will rot if soil is too wet.

wild senna, maryland senna

senna marilandica

  • Perennial.
  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Native from Pennsylvania to Florida, west to Iowa, Kansas, and Texas.
  • Slender and usually unbranched; grows 46 feet tall, 23 feet wide.
  • Feathery bright green leaves are divided into 8 to 16 oval, inch-long leaflets.
  • Tall clusters of brownish yellow flowers top the stems in summer.
  • Dies to ground in winter.

golden wonder senna

senna splendida

  • Evergreen shrub.
  • Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11.
  • Native to Brazil.
  • To 912 feet high and 610 feet wide, with bright green leaves divided into four oval, pointed leaflets to 3 inches long.
  • Deep golden yellow, 112 inches-wide flowers come in loose clusters at branch ends from autumn into winter.
  • This common name has been applied to a number of sennas of varying growth habits; other golden wonder sennas have bright yellow flowers and are strongly horizontal in branch pattern, growing 58 feet high and spreading to 12 feet wide.
  • All sennas known by this name produce many seeds and should be severely pruned after flowering.

canyon senna

senna wislizeni

  • Deciduous shrub.
  • Zones LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11.
  • Native to West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Mexico.
  • To 58 feet tall and 510 feet wide.
  • Attractive upright branches hold small green leaves divided into four to six leaflets, each 1 14 inches long.
  • Clusters of bright yellow, inch-wide flowers appear all summer.
  • Little water.

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