PlantsSenna→Privet Cassia (Senna ligustrina)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Privet Cassia
Give a thumbs up Privet Senna
Give a thumbs up Privet Wild Sensitive Plant

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 9a -6.7 °C (20 °F) to -3.9 °C (25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 11
Plant Height: 4 to 8 feet
Plant Spread: 4 to 6 feet
Leaves: Evergreen
Fruiting Time: Late winter or early spring
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Late summer or early fall
Late fall or early winter
Underground structures: Taproot
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Salt tolerant
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Containers: Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil


Posted by mellielong (Lutz, Florida - Zone 9b) on Dec 24, 2013 4:45 PM

I bought this plant from the Florida Native Plant Society several years ago. One plant has now spread and become several. Occasionally, I pull up a seedling that strays too far into another plant's territory, but this plant really isn't too bad about popping up where you don't want it, despite the numerous seeds it produces. Mine is planted in the shade under an oak tree but gets plenty of morning sun. The site also tends to be dry because our sprinklers don't quite hit that area so it does well surviving on its own, once established.

I planted this because I raise butterflies and this is a host for several Sulphur caterpillars. An interesting note, the Cloudless Sulphur caterpillar is usually predominantly green. However, when the sennas (or cassias, they eat both) are in bloom, they eat the flowers almost exclusively, and as a result, they turn yellow! They blend in with the flower to such a degree that it's nearly impossible to see them unless you have a really trained eye or they happen to move.

There are several cassias that are considered invasive in Florida; this native plant is an excellent alternative that I believe you should pursue instead. It has proven to be a regular draw for the Sulphur butterflies. Also, once I got it established, it bloomed far longer than other cassias I've seen. It's biggest flush is in the fall, but I've had it go right through winter with blooms still on it. The only bad thing I can say about it is that sometimes the seed pods get so heavy that the plant droops a bit, but you can always solve that by cutting off the seed pods. All in all, I would highly recommend this plant to anyone who is interested in butterfly gardening or who wants to introduce more native plants to their landscape.

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
March 2017 Butterflies, Moths & Larva by mellielong Apr 1, 2017 1:48 PM 130
Bee Friends And Other Garden Guests - Chapter 7 - A New Year 2017 by wildflowers May 2, 2017 8:32 AM 269
December 2016 Butterflies, Moths & Larva by mellielong Dec 31, 2016 3:29 PM 98
Senna/Cassia??? Varietal ID needed please * by flaflwrgrl Nov 6, 2016 12:58 PM 19
October 2016 Butterflies, Moths & Larva by mellielong Nov 6, 2016 3:43 AM 278
Wild, Wonderful, West Virginia Wildflowers by mellielong Aug 11, 2016 8:04 AM 38
August 2016 Butterflies, Moths & Larva by mellielong Sep 1, 2016 7:15 AM 646
July 2016 Butterflies, Moths & Larva by mellielong Jul 31, 2016 9:46 PM 284
June 2016 Butterflies, Moths & Larva by mellielong Jul 1, 2016 10:15 AM 329
Bee Friends and Other Garden Guests -- Four by wildflowers Aug 1, 2016 9:34 AM 1,016

« Add a new plant to the database

« The Plants Database Front Page

Today's site banner is by lauriemorningglory and is called "Shamrock Leaves of Oxalis"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.