Senna hebecarpa - Wild Senna

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Full SunPart ShadeButterfly FriendlyBird Friendly
Wild Senna
Senna hebecarpa syn. Cassia hebecarpa

This is a stunning plant in bloom and has attractive foliage. It is popular for meadow plantings and in native landscape gardens. Garlands of yellow flowers bloom from July to August. They are followed by dark brown seedpods that split open explosively. Wild Senna provides nectar for pollinators and cover for wildlife. In the Northeast U.S. wild senna is state listed as threatened or endangered due primarily to habitat loss





Native Range

Wild Senna is found in moist meadows and pastures from Ontario and Maine south and west to Tennessee and Georgia and north to Wisconsin and Michigan.

Map Credit: The Biota of North America 
Map Key: Green (native), Teal (native, adventive), Blue (present), Yellow (present & rare), Red (extinct)


The seed of this plant is eaten by some game birds, including quail. The flowers are primarily attractive to bees. The extra-floral nectaries are attractive to ants, and other insects including ladybird beetles. It’s thought that these insects protect the plant from other insects that would attack the foliage. 

Legumes are beneficial for their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen, thanks to a symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria known as rhizobia. These plants help replenish soil with nitrogen, leading to stronger growth for other plants.




Wild senna should be grown in soil that has good drainage in either a sunny or partly shaded location. This plant grows naturally in damp, fertile soils and under these conditions, a height of 7 feet can be attained. In drier soil the plant will grow to about 3 feet and tend to be less floppy.


Mature Size: 4-7ft. Tall x 3-4ft. Wide

Hardiness Zone: 3-9

Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Part Shade

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    American Beauties Offer Solution Based Plant Collections to Help you Choose

    Quick Tips for Choosing Plants:

    • Planting a variety of native trees, shrubs, perennials and vines increases biodiversity and gives wildlife a source for food, cover and nesting
    • Choose a mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees so birds and other wildlife will always be able to find shelter
    • Plant trees and large shrubs where they will block winter winds from the house and shade it in summer, that will save energy and lower your carbon footprint
    • Try your best to buy plants that were grown locally, your independent garden center will be your best bet
    • Think about ultimate height and width of the plant you choose, make sure it will fit the space you have for it when it's reached maturity
    • Plant nectar plants in groups, to attract butterflies and other beneficial insects more easily
    • Ask for help if you need it. Most garden centers either have a landscape designer on staff or they can give you a reference of a designer that is adept at native plant wildlife gardening. There will be upfront costs but they are small when compared to having to redo a landscape that wasn't what you really wanted

    Our Plant Tags Hold the Secrets to Success

    Choosing the right plants for your garden can seem like a daunting task but we’re here to help. Our horticulturists have spent a considerable amount of time researching and writing our beautiful, American Beauties plant tags to help you be successful. First of all, when you see an American Beauties branded pot at your garden center you can be confident that the plant is native to your area and a responsible choice. 

    When you look at our tag you’ll find information about the plants natural habitat. That will give you a clue to how it will work in your backyard. For instance if the plant is naturally founded and moist, shade and you have full sun, it’s not the plant for you. The “Features” section gives you an overview or plant description so you’ll know what to expect. While the “Benefits” section talks about the plants strong suits and how the plant will benefit wildlife. 

    A Special Note About Exposure

    Full sun: Prefers six or more hours of direct sunshine a day
    Partial shade: Thrives in three to six hours of daily sunshine
    Shade: Generally does well with less than three hours of sun per day. Having said that even shade loving plants will struggle in extremely deep shade.


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