Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Natural landscaping with Senna

This is a marvellous plant for natural landscaping. The Senna alata is sometimes called Cassia alata. It flowers throughout the year. Its erect inflorescence's resemble yellow candles ( see inset). The flowers are cup-shaped and the plants are a source of chrysophanic acid used in the treatment of some skin diseases. I find that many public authorities have abandoned planting these colourful and free flowering plants in open spaces, parks etc.. It is for this matter that I try to plant as many of them in the garden for posterity reasons. Being a large shrub it can reach up to 2-3 meters high.

Above: Stands of the the Senna alata at Zone G

Notice the long tall grasses that grow abundantly on this wet basin. The grasses provide shelter for the water hen and sparrows love to cling on the ends of the grasses feeding on its seeds. I have propagated a number of these senna plants elsewhere at the garden especially at Zone B.

It is very easy to propagate the seena from seeds. I think Senna alata are best planted in the open as part of natural landscaping. They love direct sun and need space as the stems reach spaces around them in very short time.

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