Lindheimer senna

September 1st, 2007
Lindheimer Senna

Despite no appreciable drop in temperature, fall has come to Austin and the plants know it. New flowers are starting to open, first the oxblood lilies, then the coral bean, and now the Lindheimer senna (aka velvetleaf cassia) which goes by a couple of botanic names, Cassia lindheimeri or Senna lindheimeriana.

I bought the senna (or is it a cassia?) back in May in a 4-inch pot from Barton Springs Nursery. When I planted it, I teased the three stems apart. One died but the other two thrived on all the rain we got this summer and are now about 3 feet tall and wide. The flowers are not very showy. I prefer the plant for its blue-green leaves which are very velvety to the touch. Lindheimer senna is reported to reseed freely and is a native Texan, at home on the shallow limestone of the Edwards plateau. I also read, though not a problem in my backyard, that it is considered toxic to cattle. Deer, too, are said to leave it alone. However, birds like the seeds.

Garden History

Planted: 2007-05-23.
First flower: 2007-08-28.