Wild Senna

Wild Senna


Wild Senna

Wild Senna is a versatile plant that we think deserves more recognition as a great choice for garden or restoration projects. Its lovely, bright yellow flowers bloom July-August, attracting many bees and butterflies. Autumn brings beautiful leaf colors and the formation of long black pods with seeds favored by larger birds like wild turkeys. A horizontal root system provides strength against winds, allowing the plant's stately (4-6') beauty to be appreciated even after the storm. Some gardeners use this sun-loving plant to form a hedge.


A Prairie Moon • July 12 Hi Mia, Like most perennial prairie plants, Wild Senna has quite a large root system. Senna has a deep taproot and spreads horizontally from rhizomes. Because of the deep taproot, it can be very hard to transplant. If you are attempting to do so, you’ll want to dig it out as deeply as you feasibly can. I would try this in the fall just before the ground freezes, or in the spring just after it thaws. Good Luck!.Growing your own plants from seed is the most economical way to add natives to your home. Before you get started, one of the most important things to know about the seeds of wild plants is that many have built-in dormancy mechanisms that prevent the seed from germinating. In nature, this prevents a population of plants from germinating all at once, before killing frosts, or in times of drought. To propagate native plants, a gardener must break this dormancy before seed will grow.

Wild senna is a large perennial with the distinctive foliage and conspicuous seed pods characteristic of members of the pea family. Unusual yellow flowers appear close to the stem and though they are only briefly in bloom, are visited by a number of pollinators including butterflies, solitary bees, and bumble bees. In regards to the last pollinator on that list, a 2016 study by researchers at Penn State found that bumble bees preferentially visit flowers that produce pollen that has higher protein-to-lipid ratios, and wild senna was the favorite of bumble bees amongst the plants used in the study. This wildflower is underutilized in the home landscape. It mixes well as a backdrop to shorter perennials and adds structure to the wildflower garden. It makes an effective herbaceous hedge, and can withstand high winds that would wither other plants. Wild senna is considered threatened or endangered in the Northeastern U.S. – providing all the more reason to include it in your garden for the sake of its conservation. (Source: xerces.org)


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