En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - October 27, 2011

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Shrubs
Title: Identification of plant similar to Lindheimer's senna (Senna lindheimeriana)
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I purchased "Lindheimer's Senna" at our MG plant sale in Williamson Co. two years ago. My three plants are now 6 ft. tall but I don't think they are Lindheimers. I've searched your plant files and can't find exactly what kind they are. The leaves are not velvety, but smooth and pointed rather than oval. The flower is the same. I have photos I can send as well. Thank you. BTW: I am a member.


Thank you very much for supporting the Wildflower Center.

Here are a couple of possibilities for your plant:

1.  On page 694 of Shinners & Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas you can read a description of Senna lindheimeriana (Lindheimer's senna) and Senna marilandica (Maryland senna) and see that they are very similar except that S. marilandica is described as having "essentially glabrous" (without hairs) leaves.

Here are more photos and information for S. lindheimeriana and more photos and information for S. marilandica.

2.  Another possibility is the non-native Senna occidentalis (coffee senna), from South America.  Here are more photos and information for S. occidentalis.  You can find more information from the US Forest Service.

If neither of these appears to be the plant you have, please visit our Plant Identification page where you will find links to several plant identification forums that accept photos for identification.


From the Image Gallery

Lindheimer's senna
Senna lindheimeriana

Lindheimer's senna
Senna lindheimeriana

Maryland senna
Senna marilandica

Maryland senna
Senna marilandica

More Shrubs Questions

Source for manzanita from Leakey TX
March 19, 2012 - Where can I buy manzanita plants in Texas?
view the full question and answer

Care of Northern honeysuckle bush
April 26, 2009 - I have a honeysuckle bush, I have had it for about year to two years. I would like to know if I should cut the brown parts off. There are some vines that do not look good, but some of the branches ha...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control in West Union IA
June 22, 2010 - Erosion control and native grasses/plants for steep, shady slope in northeast Iowa. We are building a house in northeast Iowa (near West Union in Fayette County). The road that was graded to the ho...
view the full question and answer

What plants grow well in Athens, TX?
January 18, 2011 - Athens, Texas, we have very sandy soil mixed with clay, what plants grow well here?
view the full question and answer

Toxic trees and shrubs in Pennsylvania
September 30, 2008 - I have a long property edge that I have been gradually transforming from a former cattle pasture into a hedgerow of native trees and shrubs. Cattle still graze on the other side. Are there any toxic...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center