20 November 2011

Winter Senna: What's the Deal?

We bought a beautiful little specimen of winter senna, Senna bicapsularis, at Barton Springs Nursery in a moment of weakness a month or so back. It has beautiful yellow flowers in bloom now, and really pretty alternate leaves. I know, I know, we have native sennas that are gorgeous, and yes I want those too. Like I said, moment of weakness.

Here's my dilemma. There are a ton of mixed opinions and references out there for this plant, some of which claim that its highly invasive, some of which claim that the invasive one is actually Senna pendula, and some which say that yes it's invasive but not all that bad.

One website that I can't seem to find again said that the climbing vine-like shrub can really take over in New Orleans, even pulling down siding.

So, what's the deal? Is winter senna invasive? Should we be planting it in Texas? If it's invasive, should our nurseries be selling it? I'd love to hear if anyone has any opinions on this. I've been snipping off the seeds for now, but I'm not going to keep doing that for long. Soon enough, I'll just have to either let it live or send it to compost bin.


Tina said...

So, from my reading, the winter senna might be invasive (one site said it's a problem in the tropics--we're warm, but not quite tropical). I also read that you might consider deadheading to prevent its seeding out. I haven't grown it, but I saw it at BSN last week too. There are the natives (S. lindheimeriana) and also the Cassia corymbosa you might try. The winter senna is pretty and maybe if you're careful and don't over water, it won't be a problem

Carolyn Hestand Kennedy said...

Texas Invasives.org lists only S. pendula as invasive.

Enjoying your blog which I just found today!

Lee said...

Thanks Carolyn. Welcome!