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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Senna

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I > Fabales > Family: Fabaceae > Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae

About 240 species, concentrated in the tropics, with four species native to southern Africa 12 that have become naturalised, and a further 10 species and one hybrid that are cultivated in the region. Senna bicapsularis (Rambling cassia), Senna didymobotrya (Peanut butter cassia, Grondboontjiebotterkassia) and Senna pendula var. glabrata are Category 3 invasive plants in South Africa.

Species native to southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI), Flora of Zimbabwe and Flora of Mozambique.

Senna holosericea


Senna italica

Native from tropical Africa to India.

Senna petersiana (Monkey pod)

Senna singueana

Species naturalised in southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI).

Senna bicapsularis (Rambling cassia, Christmas bush, Money bush)

Native to northern South America and the West Indies. A Category 3 invasive plants in South Africa.

Senna corymbosa

Native to Uruguay and Argentina.

Senna didymobotrya (Popcorn senna, Peanut butter cassia, Chemagro, Oatmeal cassia)

Native to tropical Africa. A Category 3 invasive plants in South Africa. See Flora of Zimbabwe.

Senna hirsuta

Senna holosericea


Senna multiglandulosa

Native to Mexico and Guatemala.


Senna multijuga (Brazil shower)

Native to South America.


Senna obtusifolia

Native from the USA to Central America.

Senna occidentalis (Stinking weed, Coffee senna)

Native distribution is pantropical.

Senna pendula (Wood creeper)

Senna pendula var. glabrata is native to Brazil and is a Category 3 invasive plants in South Africa. Senna pendula var. pendula has a pantropical distribution and is cultivated in southern Africa.

Senna septemtrionalis (Arsenic bush, Dooley weed)

Native from Mexico to Peru.

Senna siamea (Kassod tree)

Native to Burma and Thailand.

Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Senna alata (Candlebush, Ringworm bush)

Native to Brazil and Venezuela.


Senna artemisioides (Silver cassia, Wormwood cassia)

Native to Australia.


Senna cana

Native to Brazil.


Senna macranthera

Native to Brazil.


Senna odorata

Native to eastern Australia.


Senna polyphylla

Native to the Lesser Antilles

Senna sophera

Native to tropical areas of the world.


Senna spectabilis (Calceolaria cassia, Crown-of-gold tree)

Native from Mexico to Brazil. 


Senna splendida

Native to Brazil and Paraguay.


Senna surattensis (Solomon-in-all-his-glory)

Native from India to the Pacific islands.


Senna x floribunda

Native to Mexico.




  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.