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Senna hebecarpa is often confused with:
Senna marilandica
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Baptisia tinctoria Baptisia tinctoria
Viola pubescens Viola pennsylvanica
Viola sororia Viola papilionacea

Wild Senna Senna hebecarpa

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Cassia hebecarpa
Phonetic Spelling
SEN-nuh hee-be-KAR-puh
Description

American Senna is a perennial in the bean family native to moist forested areas and disturbed sites in eastern North America.  Showy light orange to yellow flowers form seed pods that attract birds.  This plant is drought tolerant once established and tolerant of wet soils.  This plant is easy to propagate by seeds started in the early fall or by the division of roots in the early spring or fall.  Full sun aids in better flowering and while it can withstand sandy or rocky soils it prefers rich, loamy soil.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Grown in rich soil it can flop over when flowering and may need support.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#wildlife plant#yellow flowers#native perennial#low maintenance#riparian#stream banks#bumblebees#NC native#summer flowers#mid-summer flowers#larval host plant#food source summer#gray-green leaves#food source fall#late summer flowers#FAC#food source herbage#pollen plant#butterfly friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#wildlife plant#yellow flowers#native perennial#low maintenance#riparian#stream banks#bumblebees#NC native#summer flowers#mid-summer flowers#larval host plant#food source summer#gray-green leaves#food source fall#late summer flowers#FAC#food source herbage#pollen plant#butterfly friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Senna
    Species:
    hebecarpa
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern Northern America
    Wildlife Value:
    Bumblebees are attracted to pollen. Birds enjoy the seeds particularly Bobwhites. Larval host plant of the Cloudless sulphur butterfly. Insects like ladybird beetles, ants and flies nectar at the glands found at the base of the petioles because the flowers are nectarless.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Rounded
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Type:
    Legume
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Flattened pods 4" long 1/2" wide, dark brown at maturity with 10-18 segments each containing a seed.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Raceme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Butter yellow, not typical pea-like flowers, raceme or panicle of flowers 1/2"-1" long. Flowers have 5 yellow sepals, 5 yellow petals, 10 dark brown stamens. Petals whiten as they age from mid- to late summer.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Compound pinnate leaves 5-10 pairs of gray green leaflets 2 1/2" long and 3/4" wide. Leaflets are oblong, elipitic with a pointed tip. At the petiole base are two laceolate stipules that fall off.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Light green stout, slighty hairy
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Riparian
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Songbirds