Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Wild Cassia, Wild Senna
Senna hebecarpa

Family: Caesalpiniaceae (ses-al-pin-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Senna (SEN-nuh) (Info)
Species: hebecarpa (hee-be-KAR-puh) (Info)

Synonym:Cassia hebecarpa

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

10 members have or want this plant for trade.


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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5 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive jbcampbe On Mar 25, 2015, jbcampbe from Somerville, MA wrote:

I bought a small Wild Senna two years ago at Garden in the Woods, Massachusetts, and it has thriven here in Somerville, MA. The soil is partially reclaimed, "minimally maintained" (this is a guerrilla garden) land--much clay, gravel, rock--plus topsoil and compost that I've been adding slowly. The light is partial sun (shielded in the late afternoon). The Wild Senna, so far, has happily survived one year of bad flooding and one moderately cold winter. Am hopeful that it will have survived this year's heavy snowfall. It grows to slightly above six feet, with very full foliage and lovely golden blossoms. So far, no seedlings, but I've harvested the seeds and hope to plant them in other "minimally maintained" areas nearby (with some help and watering from me). The more seedlings the better! This soil needs plants that will help to replenish it.

Neutral stonehill26 On Jul 7, 2014, stonehill26 from Glastonbury, CT (Zone 6a) wrote:

I planted Wild Senna 3 years ago in my garden. It grows to 5 feet he tall here in CT - My concern is that each year there are more and more seedlings that appear in the garden.. many of them so well rooted that they are difficult to weed out. The seedlings have also found their way throughout my 3/4 acre lot.
I pulled out the plants last fall and still have many seedlings creeping up! This is a very lovely plant but I believe it requires some caution!

Positive jegk On Oct 7, 2009, jegk from Minneapolis, MN wrote:

I bought this plant from a local nursery and planted it on a retaining wall terrace where it gets full sun, which I assumed would be ideal since it is a prairie species. It is, but this summer I discovered a seedling that planted itself in a shady location where I had placed some of the abundant seed capsules last fall when I cut the plant back late in the season. I have also found tiny seedlings growing near my garden shed where there is essentially no sun. It's a native species that appears very adaptable. I'll see how the plants in the shady sites do next year and let you know.

Positive SusanLouise On Aug 16, 2009, SusanLouise from Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b) wrote:

What a great plant to add to a garden! The shape of the leaves are lovely, non-invasive and a true native. I planted 2 side by side for the Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly (one of my favorites!)...

Positive JonthanJ On Jan 28, 2009, JonthanJ from Logansport, IN wrote:

When I noticed over the summer of 2008 that there were a dozen seedlings coming up through the grassy weeds within 20' of one that I had collected some years ago, on a south-facing clay loam hillside in one of my gardens, I got a bit antsy that it might be an invasive alien. It turns out that this is a native plant. Prairie Nursery suggests that it does well in clayey soils. It can be a chore to clean up the dead stems.

Positive srczak On Feb 3, 2006, srczak from Minneapolis, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

I like the texture of the pinnate leaves; the flowers are showy enough, maybe not outstanding. Easy to grow in fairly sunny spot, tho withstands some shade and fairly drought tolerant. It's a nitrogen-fixing legume, so seed is easily harvested from pods after they mature and dry on the plant in late summer/fall.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Fayetteville, Arkansas
Glastonbury, Connecticut
Albion, Indiana
Logansport, Indiana
Council Bluffs, Iowa
Sheffield, Massachusetts
Somerville, Massachusetts
Afton, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Lincoln, Nebraska (2 reports)
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Coopersburg, Pennsylvania
Memphis, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Jacksonville, Texas
Kalama, Washington

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