General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 9a -6.7 °C (20 °F) to -3.9 °C (25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 11
Plant Height: 12 to 30 feet (3.5-9m)
Plant Spread: 10 to 15 feet (3-4.5m)
Leaves: Evergreen
Fruit: Showy
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Late fall or early winter
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Late summer or early fall
Late fall or early winter
Suitable Locations: Street Tree
Patio/Ornamental/Small Tree
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Provides winter interest
Shade Tree
Flowering Tree
Medicinal Herb
Cut Flower
Will Naturalize
Suitable as Annual
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Other Beneficial Insects: Wasps. Caution: Fire ants can often be found on the blooms
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Drought tolerant
Toxicity: Leaves are poisonous
Roots are poisonous
Fruit is poisonous
Other: All parts of this plant are poisonous if swallowed.
Propagation: Seeds: Depth to plant seed: 3/4 to 1 inch deep
Can handle transplanting
Other info: soaking seeds in water overnight will speed up the germination process
Propagation: Other methods: Other: Suckers
Pollinators: Wasps
Moths and Butterflies
Various insects
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs repotting every 2 to 3 years
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil

Common names
  • Candletree
  • Candelabra Bush
  • Golden Candlestick
  • Seven Golden Candlesticks
  • Empress Candle Plant
  • Christmas Candle
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Senna alata
  • Synonym: Cassia alata

Photo Gallery
Location: My Northeastern Indiana Gardens - Zone 5b
Date: 2011-09-28
New leaf; ready  to unfurl.
Location:  By my mailbox in zone 9 Louisiana
Date: 2018-10-22
Late afternoon so notice leaves are folding for the night
Location: Austin ,TX
Date: 2011-10-27
Location: Tampa Bay, Florida 
Date: October 
Candlestick Cassia
Location: all photos from my garden
Location: Benbrook, Texas
Date: 2008-09-25
Candle Tree (annual here) planted in early May from a 4” pot!!
Location: My plant by mailbox
Date: 2018-10-12
10 inch flower candle just starting to open from bottom

Date: 2018-08-17
Location: Winter Springs, FL zone 9b
Date: 2016-08-28
Location: Winter Springs, FL zone 9b
Date: 2016-08-24
Location: San Antonio Botanical Garden, San Antonio, Texas
Date: 2022-04-04
Location: Kerrville, TX
Date: October 2003
Location: Plano, TX
Date: 2013-10-29
Immature seed pods
Location: Plano, TX
Date: 2013-10-10
Close-Up of flowers
Location: Mont Belvieu, TX
Date: 2016-08-20
Pollination of senna alata
Location: Plano, TX
Date: 2013-10-02
Location: Kerrville, TX
Date: Oct 30, 2003
Location: Terrell garden 
Date: 2014-09-26
Location: My front yard, N Watauga TX
Date: 2011-10-14
Fully mature in late summer, grown as an annual in zone 8 and abo

Date: 2011-10-02
Planted early spring at 18\" tall.  One season growth about 9 foo
Location: Terrell garden 
Date: 2014-09-26
Location: Mountain City, Tx
Date: 2005
Location: My Northeastern Indiana Gardens - Zone 5b
Date: Aug 14, 2011 8:20 AM
Photo by dave
Location: Plano, TX
Date: 2013-09-24
Location: My Northeastern Indiana Gardens - Zone 5b
Date: 2011-05-10
Location: Plano, TX
Date: 2013-10-02

photo credit: Jeevan Jose, Kerala, India
Location: Plano, TX
Date: 2013-10-06
Location: Plano, TX
Date: 2013-10-06
Location: LVMG Watauga TX
Date: 2011-07-02
The leaf branches fold together at night and in very cloudy weath

Date: 2009-11-29
Location: Lisa Veitenheimer Memorial Garden Watauga TX
Date: 2011-07-02
A few months old

Date: 2009-08-18
Location: Tampa, FL
Date: 2015-05-02
At USF Botanical Gardens
Location: Tampa, FL
Date: 2015-05-02
At USF Botanical Gardens
Location: Plano, TX
Date: 2013-09-27
The buds are about to open
Location: My back yard
Date: OCT 27, 2011
You can see the green seed pods developing as it blooms
Location: Plano, TX
Date: 2013-10-10
More "candles" opened
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Date: 2011-09-20
Photo by dave67

credit: Prenn

credit: Prenn
This plant is tagged in:
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  • Posted by flaflwrgrl (North Fl. - Zone 8b) on Sep 8, 2014 11:18 AM concerning plant:
    Native to Southeast Asia, Africa, the Pacific islands, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.
    Senna alata reseeds prolifically, and seedlings will sprout up all around the mother plant. Water can also carry the seeds away and plant them elsewhere.
    This is an evergreen in its natural range, but it will grow as far north as zone 7. Generally, in zones 7 - 9, it is deciduous and dies back upon first frost. In these cases, it is a small tree of 6 - 10 feet or a shrub. It begins to bloom in its second year. After bloom time, it can take on a quite shabby appearance.
    Pinching it when young will promote much more branching and more blooms.
    If you live in Florida, it is not recommended to plant this as it has the potential to become invasive, so unless you are diligent about weeding the seedlings that sprout, you might want to consider leaving this out of your garden.

    This plant contains chrysophanic acid, which is used in medicines that treat skin conditions, including ringworm; hence the common name of Ringworm Tree.
  • Posted by tabbycat (Youngsville, LA - Zone 9b) on Oct 20, 2018 9:11 PM concerning plant:
    This spring I started this plant from seeds after a few years of not growing it. I always put it by my mailbox so everyone could enjoy its beauty. It also has room there to get 6'x5' by fall. It's late Oct. and it's 5' with three perfect golden candles that glow out in the full sun where it grows well. I rarely water it, so it depends on rain every few days. It has never been bothered by bugs or diseases, so I consider it a perfect showstopper plant I highly recommend it for zone 9.
Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Incredible! by wcgypsy Dec 24, 2012 2:19 PM 1
Not Senna corymbosa by plantladylin Dec 10, 2022 12:19 PM 2

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