Gardening
in Tucson, Phoenix,
Arizona and California

Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix, Arizona and California

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Senna hirsuta v. glaberrima: Woolly Senna / Slimpod Senna

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Description
Form: Herb.
Lifespan: Perennial.
Leaf retention: Dies to ground in winter, leaving dry brown stalks and persistent seed pods.
Growth rate: Moderate.
Mature Size: 3-6' high and wide.
Flowers: Vivid yellow, five oval petals with two lowest cupped, and two enlarged, curved, lower stamens. No nectar produced.
Bloom: Repeatedly, throughout summer, usually after monsoon rains start. Can be induced to leaf out early, with regular water, starting late winter.
Fruit: Slender, tapered, cylindrical pods, 6" long or more, containing dark brown pellet-like seeds, often persisting after leaves have dropped.
Leaves: Dark green, lance-shaped, medium-sized, non-hairy.
Stems: No thorns.
Roots: Nitrogen-fixing*.
Wildlife: Attracts several species of female sulphur butterflies, ants, and lizards searching for ants.
Toxic / Danger: None reported.
Origin: Arizona, New Mexico, and tropical and subtropical Americas.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 8-9.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun to part shade.
Water once established: Monthly. Tolerates frequent watering. Harvester ants are known to cut off leaves when this plant is near to their nest and is frequently watered during a drought.
Soil: Well drained, pH 6.6-7.8 (neutral to slightly alkaline). *Do not use a nitrogen fertilizer.
Prune: In winter, cut to ground, except keep one short central stalk to mark location of roots.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed.
Uses: Ornamental.

Comments
A very showy desert plant in full bloom. Butterflies seem attracted to an aroma in the leaves, undetectable to humans.



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Senna hirsuta v. glaberrima: Woolly Senna / Slimpod Senna - flowers

Senna hirsuta v. glaberrima: Woolly Senna / Slimpod Senna - seed pods

Senna hirsuta v. glaberrima: Woolly Senna / Slimpod Senna