Senna mexicana var. chapmanii

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Chapman's Sensitive Plant, Bahama Senna

Fabaceae (Leguminosae)

Also known as Cassia chapmanii

Plant Specifics

Size:2-4 ft tall by 3-6 ft wide
Life Span:Short-lived perennial
Flower Color:Yellow
Fruit Color:Brown
Phenology:Evergreen but goes semi-dormant in drought or cold. Blooms all year in south Florida. Typically lives 3-5 years.
Noted for:Showy flowers, Interesting foliage


Recommended Uses:Specimen shrub. Can be a border plant or planted in a mass. 
Availability:Native nurseries, Seed
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Short very dry periods)
Moisture Tolerance: Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Short very dry periods
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Moderate. Tolerant of salty wind and may get some salt spray. Exposure to salt spray would be uncommon (major storms).
Soil or other substrate:Lime rock, Sand
Soil pH:Calcareous (high pH)



Larval host plant for cloudless sulphur (Phoebis sennae), sleepy orange (Eurema nicippi) and the introduced orange-barred sulphur (Phoebis philea) butterflies.

A gland at the base of the leaves attracts ants that attack the butterfly caterpillars (IRC)

Sennas attract butterflies, solitary bees including sweat bees and bumble bees, as pollinators.

Native Habitats:Pine rocklands, rocky hammocks, dunes. Typically in sunny areas.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 11 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


General Comments:Listed as Threatened in Florida by the FDACS.