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Candle bush

Senna Alata


Shrub or small tree with a flower that resembles a tall yellow candle. It produces straight dark-brown winged pods 15-25 cm long with 50-60 seeds. The seeds get distributed by water and animals and the plant can grow very fast and weed-like. It has huge pinnate leaves up to 30 in (75 cm) long with 7-14 pairs of large, oblong leaflets. The leaflets close in the dark. The "candles" are made of cup shaped flowers clustered along the leaf axils. There are open flowers at the bottom and unopened flowers with a waxy coverings at the top.


Senna alata comes from tropical regions in the Americas, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands,. Such a widespread natural distribution for a single species is very uncommon.


Also called Candlestick Cassia, Cassia alata and ringworm tree. It has fungicidal properties and can be used for treating ringworm and other fugal infections of the skin. The leaves are ground in a mortar, mixed with oil and applied to the infection. It is a host plant for Sleepy Orange, Cloudless Sulphur, and Orange-barred Sulphur.

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Karen Hileman
Karen Hileman 10 years ago

Thanks alicelongmartin. You have a beautiful collection of spottings that this newbie can learn a lot from.

alicelongmartin 10 years ago

Nice Spotting!

Karen Hileman
Spotted by
Karen Hileman

Cocoa, Florida, USA

Spotted on Aug 20, 2012
Submitted on Aug 20, 2012

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