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Bahama senna, Chapman's wild sensitive plant
Senna mexicana var. chapmanii
Fabaceae


General Landscape Uses:

Accent groundcover. Wildflower and rock gardens.
Availability:
Native plant nurseries. Available in Fort Myers at All Native Garden Center and Plant Nursery (239-939-9663), in Parrish at Sweet Bay Nursery, LLC (941-776-0501) and in Key West at Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden (305-296-1504).
Description:
Small shrub or woody groundcover with attractive yellow flowers.
Dimensions:
About 2-4 feet in height. Spreading and becoming much broader than tall.
Growth Rate:
Fast.
Range:
Monroe County Keys and Miami-Dade County; Bahamas and Cuba. Very rare or absent in the upper Monroe County Keys. In Miami-Dade County, native to the Miami Rock Ridge from Long Pine Key in Everglades National Park northeast perhaps as far north as the Miami River.
Habitats:
Pine rocklands and rockland hammock edges.
Soils:
Moist, well-drained limestone soils, with or without humusy top layer.
Nutritional Requirements:
Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.
Drought Tolerance:
Moderate to high; plants growing in extremely dry soils may die during extended periods of drought.
Light Requirements:
Full sun to light shade.
Flower Color:
Yellow.
Flower Characteristics:
Showy, about 3/4" wide.
Flowering Season:
All year.
Fruit:
Brown pod (legume).
Wildlife and Ecology:
Larval host plant for cloudless sulphur (Phoebis sennae), sleepy orange (Eurema nicippe) and the introduced orange-barred sulphur (Phoebis philea) butterflies. A gland at the base of the leaves attracts ants that attack the butterfly caterpillars.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seed.
Comments:
It is listed as threatened by the state of Florida.


 


Roger L. Hammer
George D. Gann
Steven W. Woodmansee
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton
Keith A. Bradley