August 24, 2022

Wild Senna for Wildflower Wednesday

companions

It's Wildflower Wednesday--the fourth Wednesday of the month--when gardeners around the world share information about some of their favorite wildflowers. This month, my pick is Wild Senna (S. hebecarpa).

As the ferns begin to senesce, and the brown and mustard shades of foliage begin to settle into the back garden, the Wild Senna brightens the landscape. This plant is definitely the focal point this time of year, under the central Oak and framed by the ferns, the Pachysandra, and the potted Oxalis 'Zinfandel' (O. vulcanicola), and Fuchsia 'Autumnale.'

flowers and buds

The buds are bright (this photo was taken about a week ago), and the flowers of Wild Senna are buttery yellow, open, and inviting to pollinators. Later in the season, the seedpods form, which I'll try to remember to highlight in a future post.

bumble

Some of the benefits of this plant, in addition to its beauty:
  • I almost always find bumblebees enjoying its pollen and nectar;
  • It seems to be rabbit-resistant, unlike so many native plants I've tried to establish in this shady garden;
  • It's hardy in USDA garden zones 4 to 8.
  • Some sources say it needs full sun, but it's thriving here in dappled shade, with late afternoon sun;
  • It stands tall, providing an anchor to the plants around it;
  • A horizontal root system protects it from heavy wind damage;
  • It's a host plant for various sulphur butterflies and other species; and
  • It attracts hummingbirds.

I could go on; I really enjoy and appreciate this plant, especially this time of year.

foliage

Actually, I enjoy it for most of the mid to late growing season, as the foliage of Wild Senna is nearly as fun as the flowers.

flowers

It's a great native plant to add to just about any Eastern North American garden. Its range extends from Ontario east to Maine, and south from Alabama through Georgia and the Carolinas. It's a bright spot, even in partial shade, in the late-summer landscape.

Thanks to Gail at Clay and Limestone for hosting Wildflower Wednesday. Head on over to her blog to learn about wildflowers from around the world.

15 comments:

  1. I love Senna and am so pleased you shared it for WW. It's such a fabulous plant and so wildlife valuable.

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    1. I'm so glad I added it. So many plants I've tried in the back garden either don't get enough sun or the rabbits eat them, or they're short-lived. The Wild Senna seems to be settling in and liking its spot. And the pollinators love it. :)

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  2. It's a beautiful plant, Beth, splashier than the Senna bicapsularis in my garden. Mine usually blooms sometime in September and is a host plant for cloudless sulphur butterflies.

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    1. Yes, I'm a big fan. Senna bicapsularis is beautiful, too. Wow, a Senna shrub: That would be awesome!

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  3. It is beautiful. I also like to hear that it is sturdy. Wind and heavy rains can cause such a mess. It is nice to have strong plants.

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    1. So true! I do have it supported with a few cable ties, but I'm not sure it's really necessary. It's very tall, but strong, too.

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  4. That Oxalis in a pot looks terrific. A great accent.

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    1. Yes, it's a great plant, too. And I bring it indoors for the winter for year-round beauty.

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  5. I never knew about Senna. These are just beautiful. I shall have to look for this because I am looking for more pollinator plants.

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    1. Definitely a great choice for just about any garden in its range, for so many reasons.

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  6. I can certainly see why you like this, Beth. Gorgeous shots of the plant, its surrounding neighbors, and the bee!

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    1. Thank you. It seems like it took a bit longer to get going and bloom this year, but maybe that was just my recollection of its normal blooming time. Even the foliage without the blooms is pretty special, too.

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  7. Mmmmm, so pretty and such a great plant for wildlife. I need to find a place for it if it will establish here. :)

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