Growing Guide
plant thumbnail

Senna, Wild

Herbaceous Perennial Flower, Wildflower

Also known as American Senna, Indian Senna
Cassia marilandica
Fabaceae Family

This 4-foot-tall perennial features compound, yellow-green leaves and yellow blooms borne in dense clusters from mid- to late summer.

Site Characteristics
  • full sun
May tolerate part shade.

Soil conditions:

  • tolerates damp soil
  • Tolerates poor drainage - This plant tolerates damp clay soils.
Prefers rich, well-drained soil that is kept slightly moist. Grows well in clay soils.

Hardiness zones:

  • 4 to 7
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: perennial

Ease-of-care: easy

Height: 2 to 4 feet

Spread: 2 to 6 feet

Bloom time:

  • mid-summer
  • late summer

Flower color: yellow

Foliage color:

  • yellow
  • other

Leaves are yellowish-green.

Foliage texture: fine

Pinnate leaves, composed of up to 18 leaflets arranged along a midrib give a medium to fine texture.

Shape: upright

Shape in flower:

  • flower stalks with sprays of flowers
  • flower stalks with flowers as cups

Cup-like blooms produced in loose to dense elongated clusters (racemes).

Special Considerations
Special characteristics:
  • non-aggressive
  • non-invasive
  • native to North America - Eastern North America
  • beneficial insects - Bees and butterfly larvae.
  • butterflies
  • hummingbirds
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by seed, cuttings, division or separation - Divide the plants in spring or fall. May require an axe or other heavy tool.

Take semi-woody cuttings in summer, dip in rooting hormone before sticking.

Sow seeds in spring. Soak overnight in warm water before sowing.

Maintenance and care:
Fairly low maintenance. Remove faded flower heads to maintain appearance.

More growing information: How to Grow Perennials

Leaf spot (i.e. tar spot)
Powdery mildew
Cassia armata is a related shrub that grows to 5 feet, is native to Arizona and California, and hardy from Zone 4 to 7.

Cassia fasciculata (Partridgepea), and C. occidentalis (Coffee Senna) are common roadside weeds in eastern and mid-North America. Despite their attractive blooms and foliage, they are very aggressive unwelcome in most gardens. They may be useful for naturalistic plantings seeking to recreate native vegetation.