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Wild Senna (VA and WV Ecotype)

Wild Senna (VA and WV Ecotype)

Regular price $3.50 Sale

Senna hebecarpa

Origin: Eastern North America

Improvement status: Wild

Seeds per packet: ~130

Germination tested 7/2021: 67%

Life cycle: Perennial

Wild senna is a gorgeous native perennial legume with great value to pollinators and ecosystems in general. Though native to North America, it has a distinctly tropical look — it's far more garish than most of our native plants, with its almost palm-like leaves and large sprays of bright-yellow and black flowers. Interestingly, this plant features extrafloral nectaries on its leaf petioles, rather than producing nectar in its flowers, which instead produce a special kind of pollen. The nectar on the leaf petioles attracts ants, parasitic wasps, and lady beetles.

Like other sennas, its most common medicinal use is as a laxative. It's reported that Cherokee people used it for cramps, heart problems, and fevers, among other ailments. A root poultice was used for sores. It was also used for fainting spells and pneumonia. Haudenosaunee people are said to have used the plant as a worm remedy and laxative.

It's also a charming and beautiful plant, growing to 5 feet tall.

Our seed was produced by our friends at Ernst Conservation Seeds in Meadville, PA.

GROWING TIPS: Cold-moist stratify for 10 days and scarify (nick or sand seed coat). Or direct-seed in fall.