Index- plants in this Family
Fabaceae / Pea
Southern Wild Senna (Senna marilandica)
Southern Wild Senna is also known as American Senna, Wild Senna, Maryland Senna and Locust Plant and Tea Weed. Formerly considered in the genus Cassa.

Plant Type: This is a herbaceous plant, it is a perennial which can reach a height of 2 Meters (7 feet ) . It is usually erect and unbranched.
Leaves: The leaves are alternate. Each leaf is divided into an even number of oval leaflets usually five to ten pairs about 2.5cm (1") long.
Flowers: The flowers have 5 Regular Parts. They are yellow with light green blotches. Blooms first appear in mid summer and continue into late summer. The petals are somewhat unequal in size.
Fruit: Curved seed pods about 7.5cm (3") long with flatened hairs. The seeds about twice as wide as long with rounded sides depressed in the center.
Habitat: Open or thin woods and thickets.
Range: Most of eastern and central U. S. South of the Great Lakes region.

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Medical Uses: A leaf tea is a very strong laxative which is sometimes mixed with other herbs such as Coriander to lessen cramps. Europeans were introduced to a similar Senna by Arabs and upon arriving in the Americas the Natives here introduced them the this Senna. Used as a laxative by herbalist it is also found in pharmaceutical preparations.

Similar Species: Nothern Wild Senna (Senna hebecarpa is very similar, but less common. Seeds almost as wide as long, flat with depressed center. Found in moist woods.

See the links below this image for other images. (1)
© Daniel Reed   E-mail      Image use policy

Canon Digital Rebel XT / 350D Camera, Canon EF180mm F/3.5L Macro USM Lens, 1/800 Sec. f/4.5 ISO 100 Cedars of Lebanon State Forest, Wilson County, Tennessee

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Senna marilandica  © Daniel Reed

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More Info:  
The Search below may provide more information about this species. Some of URLs may have been used as a source for this page not otherwise cited. Most of the information not cited comes from multiple sources that can be found in the Books page. The USDA plant links are provided by: USDA, NRCS 1999. The PLANTS database ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. You can check species names at ITIS Advanced Search to see if they meet the current ITIS taxonomic criteria.

By: Newcomb, Lawrence and Illustrated by Morrison, Gordon. 1977, Little, Brown and Company, ISBN:0-316-60442-9

One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.

Wildflo wers of Tennessee the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians
By: Dennis Horn and Tavia Cathcart and Thomas E. Hemmerly and David Duhl. , ISBN:1551054280

This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.

Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Dicots / Two Seed Leaves



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