Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Sicklepod, Coffeeweed
Senna obtusifolia

Family: Caesalpiniaceae (ses-al-pin-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Senna (SEN-nuh) (Info)
Species: obtusifolia (ob-too-sih-FOH-lee-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Cassia tora
Synonym:Cassia obtusifolia
Synonym:Cassia humilis

10 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Unknown - Tell us

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)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Floridian
Thumbnail #1 of Senna obtusifolia by Floridian

By hildabelle
Thumbnail #2 of Senna obtusifolia by hildabelle

By Farmerdill
Thumbnail #3 of Senna obtusifolia by Farmerdill

By Farmerdill
Thumbnail #4 of Senna obtusifolia by Farmerdill

By Farmerdill
Thumbnail #5 of Senna obtusifolia by Farmerdill

By suegrew
Thumbnail #6 of Senna obtusifolia by suegrew

By tracyb433
Thumbnail #7 of Senna obtusifolia by tracyb433


No positives
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral 1cros3nails4gvn On Jun 6, 2008, 1cros3nails4gvn from Bluffton, SC (Zone 9a) wrote:

this plant is a weed and a native to the southeast. it is popping up all over my yard, but is not hard to control. when its not growing in my yard, i find it to be kind of nice looking with its leaves and yellow flowers.

Negative Farmerdill On Aug 21, 2007, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

A pesky plant to rival ragweed in cultivated fields. It is said the the seeds are are the source of Cassia gum used as a food thickener. The seed can also be roasted and used as a substitute for coffee.


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

Gadsden, Alabama
Montgomery, Alabama
Weaver, Alabama
Barling, Arkansas
Menifee, California
San Diego, California
Bartow, Florida
Dunnellon, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Satellite Beach, Florida
Winter Haven, Florida
Augusta, Georgia
Brunswick, Georgia
Dalton, Georgia
Powder Springs, Georgia
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Brooklyn, Maryland
Saucier, Mississippi
Conway, South Carolina
North Augusta, South Carolina
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Six Mile, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Magnolia, Texas
Bumpass, Virginia

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