Location

Butterfly Garden

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Popcorn Cassia

Popcorn Cassia

Senna Didymobotrya

  • Common Name:  Popcorn Cassia, African Senna, Popcorn Senna, Peanut Butter Senna, Candelabra tree
  • Scientific Name: Senna Didymobotrya
  • Family Name: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
  • Origin:  Africa
  • Height:  Can grow 15-25 feet, but usually remains 6-10 feet.
  • Width:   Leaves can grow up to 18”, spread 3-6 feet.
  • Growth: Rapid
  • Zone: Tropical, zones 9-11.
  • Light Needs: Full sun
  • Salt Tolerance: Salt tolerant.
  • Soil/PH/Texture:  Neutral, 6.6 to 7.5.
  • Soil Moisture: Prefers rich, moist, and fertile soil.
  • Drought Tolerance: Medium, thrives in heat and humidity.
  • Pests/Diseases: None significant.
  • Growing Conditions: Full to part sun. Prefers well-drained soil.
  • Characteristics: The plant is a hairy, semi-deciduous, aromatic shrub. It flowers plentifully, often while still small, with racemes of bright, golden yellow. The racemes are open at the bottom, and closed at the top, where they are covered in green or black bracts. The plant has a strong scent when rubbed, which smells to some like buttered popcorn or peanut butter. Long-lasting blooms occur on and off all year, particularly late summer-spring. Prune after flowering.
  • Propagation: Can be grown from seed or cuttings.
  • Wildlife: Butterflies, insects, and nectar-feeding birds and are attracted to the flowers.
  • Facts: A member of the pea family. Foliage is bright green, fine, and slightly hairy. After flowering, cassia produces flat, brown 5” pods containing up to 16 bean-like seeds.  All parts of this plant are poisonous.
  • Designer Considerations: Very showy unusual shrub, good for the back of the border, or as an accent plant. Also grows well in containers. Fine foliage pairs nicely with wider-leafed plants such as the banana. The unique scent and beautiful, long-lasting flowers make this plant an interesting specimen for a display garden.