Mid to late summer finds the tall Maryland senna producing glorious clusters of yellow flowers, and the fall and winter months reveal attractive black seed pods. An upright shrubby herbaceous perennial, this wildflower is native to the open woodlands and prairies of the American Southeast and Midwest east of the Great Plains where it thrives in average to fertile soils. Fall frosts kill the plant, but the stems and seed pods persist into the winter before collapsing and decaying.
Sprouting from the warm soil in mid- to late spring, Maryland senna becomes an upright plant with little branching. The green to blue-green leaves alternate on the stems. Each leaf comprises numerous oblong leaflets. In midsummer, clusters of five-petaled yellow blossoms arise from the upper stems and at the base of the leaves. Bumblebees pollinate the flowers, causing production of seed pods. The short pods turn black and persist into fall, adding visual color and texture.
Easy-to-grow from seed, Maryland senna is best grown in full sun in any fertile soil. It grows in clay or loam or moist sands and gravels. Cut back dead tissues in late winter to tidy the garden and allow new growth to better sprout from the rhizome roots. Use this senna in a mixed perennial border or as a component to a meadow garden among purple coneflowers, wild bergamot, goldenrods and other prairie wildflowers. Use it in the rear of a border, so its height isn't troublesome. Over time, Maryland senna creates a wider clump of many stems. Deer do not browse on this perennial. Numerous butterfly species lay their eggs on this perennial. (info source: Learn2Grow.com)
Genus - Cassia
Species - Marilandica
Common name - Indian Senna
Pre-Treatment - Not-required, but recommended
Hardiness zones - 4 - 7
Height - 4'-6' / 1.20 - 1.80 m
Spread - 3'-5' / 0.90 - 1.50 m
Plant type - Perennial
Vegetation type - Decidious
Exposure - Full Sun
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Clay, Loam, Sand, Well Drained
Water requirements - Drought Tolerant, Average Water
Landscape uses - Mixed Border, Wildflower
Germination rate - 90%
Bloom season - Summer, Late Summer
Leaf / Flower color - Green / Yellow
|Germination||Seed - scarify and then pre-soak the seed for 2 - 3 hours in warm water before sowing it from early spring to early summer in a warm greenhouse.|
Short cold moist stratification for 20 days will improve the rate and speed of germination.
The seed usually germinates in 1 - 12 weeks at 23°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse. Do not plant them out until the following spring. Division as growth commences in spring. Cuttings of moderately ripe wood, July in a frame.