Sunday, August 20, 2006

Wild Senna
Cassia hebecarpa
(KASS-ee-uh) (hee-be-KAR-puh)

Well I chucked all the work I was supposed to do on Saturday and headed to Wave Hill in the Bronx. It is a relatively small garden by public garden standards but is packed with botanical delights. It was a little crowded, as it was a nice day but not so much you couldn’t ‘get away’. It is one of my favorite public gardens because it has a sense of intimacy that you sometimes lose in the bigger places. I got a couple of good photos and saw some plants that I wasn’t familiar with.

Today’s featured plant is one I have never grown. It was located near the dry garden (that is what I call it, anyway) and had a kind of sub-shrub look about it. It will get up to four to six feet and tolerates moist soil in sun or part shade. The pinnate leaves were attractive as they blew in the breeze. The flower didn’t look outstanding from afar, but upon closer inspection they are quite detailed and handsome. The hairy ‘bean’ pods were just starting to form and they looked nice, also.

This is probably not a plant for everyone’s garden. If you are like me, a gardener that likes to grow a little bit of a lot of different things then it might work for you. There are 60 species of Cassia and they are in the Pea family (Fabaceae). The range for this plant, which is sometimes called American Senna, is over the Eastern United States. There seem to be several synonyms for this plant. It is considered a species of ‘special concern’ here in Connecticut and has become rare.

Today is my 50th post and it also my birthday (not 50 yet). I must say I hope people have enjoyed this as much as I have. Hearing from all the gardeners and photographers out there has been wonderful. Thanks to all the people that took the time to comment and send pictures. I have received several offers to help bolster my photography and gardening career and that has been interesting and exciting. Here is to another 50 posts!

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