It was way back in the fall of 2016 that I planted Wild Senna (Senna hebecarpa) in a corner of the Sidewalk Border. I was excited about this member of the Pea Family (Fabaceae) because of its unusual flowers and foliage, because it was highly attractive to bumblebees, and because it is a host plant for Sulphur butterflies.
Well, over the following three years it was pretty slow to establish. By last summer it featured just a sparse handful of flowers. I was worried that its location was too shady, as Wild Senna prefers full sun. While some gardeners engage in zone denial, I have a habit of convincing myself that a given spot is really sunnier than it actually is.
This year, however, Wild Senna is full of flowers. It’s grown nearly 7′ tall, though its habit is rather sprawling – perhaps it would be tighter with more sunshine? I had been thinking of transplanting it to another spot in full sun. That spot, however, is more out-of-the-way, and I think this is a plant that deserves exposure.
I don’t think I have ever seen it for sale in a garden center – only in specialty native plant catalogs. Even so, Wild Senna deserves to be tried in more home gardens, at least by those gardeners who are a bit adventurous.
The flowers open from the bottom up. To me they look a bit like yellow popcorn.
Has Wild Senna been successful in your garden?