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Senna Species, African Senna, Candelabra Tree, Peanut Butter Cassia, Popcorn Plant

Senna didymobotrya

Family: Fabaceae (fab-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Senna (SEN-nuh) (Info)
Species: didymobotrya (did-ee-mo-BOT-ree-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Cassia didymobotrya




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Provides Winter Interest

Foliage Color:



8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Gold (yellow-orange)

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


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

Apache Junction, Arizona

Chandler, Arizona(2 reports)

Glendale, Arizona

Mesa, Arizona

New River, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Yuma, Arizona

Bloomington, California

Goleta, California

Lompoc, California

Los Angeles, California

Mission Viejo, California

Montecito, California

Palm Springs, California

Bokeelia, Florida

Bradley, Florida

Jupiter, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Merritt Island, Florida

Miami, Florida

Naples, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Palm Coast, Florida

Palm Harbor, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida(2 reports)

Sanford, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Valrico, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Butler, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

San Antonio, Texas

Zapata, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 21, 2014, anitaghump from Lancaster, PA wrote:

I planted this Cassia for the first time this summer. I am zone 6a and it has grown to be at least 5 feet tall. My problem is, no flowers? I have seen it in this area, so I know it does well here. Has anyone else had a problem with no flowers? I was really hoping to harvest some seeds to plant next year?


On Sep 11, 2014, emmysgarden from Butler, PA wrote:

My 4 year old daughter picked this out at a green house at the very beginning of summer (May-ish). I figured we'd give it a try but didn't have high hopes. I picked the sunniest spot I could find and it has done amazingly well! It started as a tiny 6" pot and now its flowers reach chest high! It has seed pods on it now (September) which I will be harvesting to start inside, I don't think this will winter over but I am going to cut it back and leave it in the ground to see what happens. Very fun plant to grow and actually makes a nice cut flower too!!


On Jun 28, 2014, schnes12 from Mesa, AZ wrote:

We live in Arizona and have had this plant in our yard for several years. It is a very unique plant that attracts a lot of attention - both with the smell which intensifies in our very hot summers and the beauty of the flowers. It easily grows to 8 feet every year after I cut it way back in the spring. It is the centerpiece of our yard which is all desert landscapes. We also have a Madagascar Palm which is multi-branched and 5 feet tall.


On Sep 16, 2013, annyboo from Chatmoss, VA wrote:

The plant seems healthy and growing fast.It is producing the buds for the flowers but something keeps eating the buds and I have no flowers. Can someone help me with this problem? Thank you.


On Dec 16, 2012, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Blooms do smell like popcorn.

UPDATE: September 2014. Definitely not hardy in zone 9a. Perhaps if you grow in a container and overwinter, can you enjoy it for years but I'm not going to bother. Too many other things to overwinter already. Besides, there are other fine cassias that survive our mild winters just fine.


On Sep 12, 2012, Mootsie from Golden Valley, MN wrote:

A popcorn lover, I found this plant 3 years ago in Minneapolis, MN. I've gifted it to fellow popcorn fans and my plant is perched close to the front door where it's a fragrant, calorie-free treat to share with guests!


On May 20, 2012, maxnbella from Gary, IN wrote:

I'm in NW Indiana and I just picked this plant up from a flea market. It's really pretty but it's a tropical and I'm sure wont last in any temp below 50. Maybe if you put it in a pot it will overwinter in the greenhouse. That's my plan, I'll let you guys know how it worked out.


On May 20, 2012, plantlady441sia from Stockbridge, MI wrote:

Will this plant grow in Michigan winter?


On Feb 21, 2010, holger_bandte from Dapto,
Australia wrote:

I was interested to learn this plant's scientific name, and where it originated from. How it got to Australia I don't know, but it grows easily in my garden, at the back of our verandah. In summer, it provides terrific shade, keeping the porch cooler. We cut it back heavily in Autumn, around Easter, to allow the Sun in over winter. By Christmas it has again grown to provide the much needed shade. The "popcorn" smell is a treat, and all who see it want one - I am propagating from cuttings as well as seed for all and sundry!


On May 2, 2007, sNic from New River, AZ wrote:

A friend bought this beautiful plant for me after I had admired her's. I planted it promptly, not wanting to waste any time. I have never in my life seen such a fast growing plant. Within 6 months, my plant went from one single stalk to well over 40 multiple stalks that measured up to 10 feet tall and 12 feet in diameter.
It smells exactly like buttered popcorn if you rub the leaves, water the leaves or if a breeze blows through them.
The yellow flower stalks are beautiful and flower all 12 months of the year in central Arizona. It is necessary to cover them if the night time temp falls below freezing for 3 or more nights. Other than that, I haven't done anything special other than feed during planting and once a year after that. I water mine once every two weeks Nov ... read more


On Feb 11, 2007, suburbanite from Evergreen, CO (Zone 4a) wrote:

This graceful, feathery shrub hails from Africa. In St. Petersburg, Florida, we bought three as eight-inch rooted cuttings from a "backyard breeder" down the street. We planted in full sun, about three feet apart, fairly sandy soil, with water 3x weekly and no other special treatment. Six months later, the shrubs are rounded in shape, about 3' in diameter by 4' tall and flowering beautifully. The foliage is a soft neutral green, and the flower stalks are about a foot long. Visibility from the road is very nice. I plan to to prune them after flowering to maintain their shape and will try to remember to update on the success of that.


On Dec 14, 2006, valeriebock from Sinajana,
Guam (USA) wrote:

This plant is also a food source for some sulpher butterfly caterpillars. I grew this plant in Florida and raised butterlies from it and I've also seen caterpillars on the plants here on Guam.


On Dec 8, 2004, baallead from koh maak,
Thailand wrote:

Larvicidal properties of aqueous extracts of the leave stem and root barks of Senna didymobotrya (Fabaceae) were evaluated against the malaria vector (Anopheles fluviatilis) under physiological conditions. Larvicidal assays showed that early larval stages were more prone to the lethal effects of the plant extracts, and that the root barks extract possessed the strongest larvicidal activity. Larvicidal effects were obtained after 3 hours of incubation of the larvae in 1,0.1, or 0.01% w/v solutions of the aqueous extracts. It was concluded that S. didymoborya is a potential mosquito larvicide.