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Products > Senna phyllodinea
 
Senna phyllodinea - Silver Leaf Cassia
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Fabaceae = Pea Family
Origin: Australia (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Winter/Spring
Synonyms: [Cassia phyllodinea, C. phyllodine]
Height: 4-6 feet
Width: 4-5 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Senna phyllodinea (Silver Leaf Cassia) A fast growing evergreen medium size shrub to 5 to 6 feet tall and wide with limber branches holding distinctive flattened 2 to 3 inch long silver-gray falcate (sickle-shaped) leaves that are often two lobed near the tip and shimmer with light in the sun. Showy 3/4 inch wide yellow flowers appear in mass on branched terminal cluster in mid to late winter to early spring with interment flowering on to fall are followed by dangling papery brown seedpods that persist for months on the plant. Plant in full sun and well-drained soils. Irrigate only occasionally to infrequently as overwatering makes plants leggy. Hardy to around 20 F and useful in USDA Zone 9 and above. It is drought tolerant and handles wind, high heat and reflected heat exposures. It is a great showy and adaptable plant for a hot dry location that is attractive in or out of flower and the flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies. Senna phyllodinea is native to dry inland plains on rocky soils, often in large colonies, in Queensland, New South Wales South Australia and New Territories. This species was long been included with the genus Cassia that Linnaeus authored in 1753 but was more closely allied with the plants in the genus Senna, a genus described by Phillip Miller only a year later; most recent treatment has moved it to Senna but Cassia and Senna are a monophyletic group (a clade) and further work on them may just as well combine them again in the future. The name for the genus comes from Arabic 'san' or 'sany' that was used for a thorn-bush and a herbal used by the Arabian physicians. The specific epithet means leaves without pinnae in reference to the leaves being reduced to a flattened enlarged petiole, called a phyllode. It is also commonly called Silver Cassia or Silvery Cassia.  This description is based on our research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We will also incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information about this plant, in particular if this information is contrary to what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Senna phyllodinea.