Monday, August 31, 2015


There is no better sign that cooler days are on the way than the flowering of the senna that grow in my garden. The first is the Lindheimer senna, Senna Lindheimeriana, also known as known as velvet leaf senna. This Texas native is named after the man sometimes called the father of Texas botany, Ferdinand Jacob Lindheimer (1801-1879).

A perennial, growing mainly on the Edwards plateau it requires no additional water or fertilizer other than which nature provides. That is a bonus this year because after 2 months with no rain the first of the senna started to bloom this week. Other Texas natives are withering and turning brown but the senna will bloom.

The second member of the senna family is Cassia corymbosa, sometimes called flowery senna.

Both these sennas freely seed themselves but this one chose the perfect place seeding itself in a difficult corner of the garden where there is no sun most of the year. I am delighted that it has chosen to flower this year.

Although this tree is not long-lived it produces replacements plants aplenty.


  1. I couldn't imagine going 2 months without rain!! What a gorgeous bloom that has.
    I love self sowers, but some people do not. I did find after a long absence, though, that given half a chance,
    some of them will take over the world-ha!

    Have a wonderful week in the garden.

  2. The signs of cooler weather approaching. I'm glad to know Cassia will bloom in the shade since one planted itself in the shade. Freely reseeding it is since it apparently washed down from a neighbor or was dropped by birds.

  3. Years like this one gardeners form deep attachments to the plants that rise above every challenge, don't you think?

    After seeing senna in bloom out in a field around Lake Buchanan years ago, I sought it out at a local nursery and have never been sorry. It is so lovely and so reliable. I love the crinkly petals and velvety leaves. I didn't realize there were two forms - I'll have to look for the Cassia corymbosa. What a beauty and how those yellow flowers brighten even in the shade!

    I'd been out this morning taking photos of the blooms on my senna plants to post but now I think I'll simply direct everyone here to see yours. Really striking photos, Ms. Jenny!

  4. I love these and must make a point of looking around to see if they're available here. I have a Senna bicapsularis, commonly called Winter or Christmas Senna, which blooms a bit later. It's received very little water this year but I hope I'll still see its glorious blooms in October or November.

  5. I tried a Lindheimer Senna once. A small plant that the deer ate down to the ground.
    That's the story of a lot of plants here.
    I'm am very ready for some fall. And, maybe some rain chances. We are so, so dry here.

  6. That velvet-leaf senna is particularly nice.

    I hope to plant a couple types of senna that are native to my area (Tennessee) in the next year or so!

  7. I grew sennas only one year and I can't remember what species -- a tall one. It was a race to see if they'd bloom before the first frost here... so pretty though!

  8. What beauties! Around here Senna marilandica is blooming beautifully right now, though it is not quite as showy as the two species you get to grow. I collected some seed from a nearby park last summer and have been raising a seedling since early last winter. Hopefully next year it will bloom.

  9. Beautiful photos! I have always loved the Sennas. And saw your agave post- phew!!!!! Love the pedestal.