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Senna wislizeni (Canyon senna)
Cox, Paul

Senna wislizeni

Senna wislizeni (A. Gray) Irwin & Barneby

Canyon Senna, Shrubby Senna, Dwarf Senna, Wislizenus's Senna, Wislizenus's Wild Sensitive-plant, Carrozo, Pinacate, Palo Prieto, Pinacatillo, Hojasťn, Ejotillo

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Synonym(s): Cassia wislizeni

USDA Symbol: SEWI3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Senna wislizeni, a deciduous shrub, is usually 4-6 ft. tall but can reach 12 ft. Short, rigid, leafy branches are lined with compound foliage arranged spirally on spurs. Large, yellow flowers crowd together in 6 in. clusters at the end of the branches. A long, flat, dark-brown pod succeeds the flowers.

This plant's brilliant yellow flowers make an attractive contrast to the foliage.


From the Image Gallery

8 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Fruit Type: Legume
Size Notes: Up to about 12 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Orange , Yellow
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov


Native Distribution: W. TX to s.e. AZ & much of the northern half of Mexico as far south as Puebla in central Mexico
Native Habitat: Dry slopes; mesas

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Well-drained, igneous soils.
Conditions Comments: A showy cassia. Brilliant yellow flowers make an attractive contract to the foliage. Dependable in poor soil and fairly drought-tolerant.


Warning: Plants of this genus (and herbal remedies derived from them) can cause poisoning and fatal illness in humans. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a personís age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plantís different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Bumble Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Sibley Nature Center - Midland, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX


Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Webref 1 - Texas Native Shrubs (2002) Texas A&M University Agriculture Program and Leslie Finical, Dallas Arboretum

Additional resources

USDA: Find Senna wislizeni in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Senna wislizeni in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Senna wislizeni


Record Modified: 2022-10-21
Research By: TWC Staff

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