Senna marilandica, Wild Senna

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Historical Uses:

The Cherokee tribe was reported to take an infusion of root for cramps, heart trouble, and fever.  The infusions were also given to children as a laxative by the Cherokee and Iroquois. Poultices of the roots were used by the Cherokee for sores.


While S. marilandica does not offer much in the way of floral nectar, the pollen is still quite attractive to bees. S. marilandica produces nectar through their extrafloral nectaries! These extrafloral nectaries are often visited by and highly valuable to ants. The ants have been known to protect the senna from their predators. S. marilandica are host plants to the cloudless sulphur (Phoebis sennae) butterfly as well as other species of sulphur butterflies! Due to the seed pods being particularly fibrous, they stay closed longer and make great winter snacks for birds.


  • Listing ID: 1204
  • Duration: Perennial
  • Soil Moisture: 1-5 (dry to wet): 3-4
  • Stratification: 10 days cold most stratification, scarification required
  • Bloom Time: July-August
  • Family: Fabaceae (Bean)
  • Sunlight Exposure: Partial shade to full sun
  • Latin Name: Senna marilandica
  • Common Name: Maryland Senna
  • Eco-Region: 251