PlantsSenna→Candletree (Senna alata)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Candletree
Give a thumbs up Candelabra Bush
Give a thumbs up Seven Golden Candlesticks
Give a thumbs up Empress Candle Plant
Give a thumbs up Christmas Candle
Give a thumbs up Golden Candlestick

Botanical names:
Senna alata Accepted
Cassia alata Synonym

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


Celebrating Winter Interest!Celebrating Winter Interest!
By dave on February 14, 2015

Pine cones, seed heads, winter bloomers, colorful red berries, and much more! Let's kick off Winter Interest Week with a look at the most popular plants in our database that give some kind of interest to our gardens in the winter. We also introduce a new gallery option in our database for winter interest, with bonus acorns this week!

(Full article9 comments)
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Posted by flaflwrgrl (North Fl. - Zone 8b) on Sep 8, 2014 11:18 AM

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.

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Posted by tabbycat (Youngsville, LA - Zone 9b) on Oct 20, 2018 9:11 PM

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.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Incredible! by wcgypsy Dec 24, 2012 2:19 PM 1
Fresh seeds collected Oct. 1, 2020 by tabbycat Oct 23, 2020 2:21 PM 0
noid by drdawg Oct 3, 2020 5:23 PM 6
Plant ID by TonUni Aug 23, 2019 8:42 PM 6
Our other fun plants for 2019 by dyzzypyxxy Apr 13, 2019 4:59 PM 128
Can someone tell me what kind of plant this is? by Planter1234 Aug 13, 2018 7:17 AM 4
Identify plant by ladynred Mar 20, 2018 3:23 AM 2
Friend is asking what this is and I have no idea by abhege Aug 28, 2017 7:20 AM 3
plant ID by MissGail Aug 9, 2017 5:37 AM 2
Seeds and Plants for Trade by Kassia May 20, 2019 4:17 AM 6
Let's see what else we are growing in 2017 by Ursula Jan 10, 2018 6:14 PM 1,056

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