Incredible Fall Display

“Incredible Fall Display”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

One sign of true fall finally arriving here is the blooming of the cassia (Senna bicapsularis) plants.  They are one of the last plants to bloom before winter really comes, and they flower in an autumn yellow or gold, not the bright yellow of spring.  Mine has just started blooming with pea-like flowers.  The flowers last a long time, attract bees and butterflies, and are usually in bloom for almost a month.

I have let mine grow into a small tree instead of as a shrub, and it is about twelve feet high.  This plant is hardy to zone 8 and may freeze to the ground but return in the spring.  After being planted for about two years, mine has no longer frozen to the ground, just some tip damage.  This is a heavily blooming plant with huge flower clusters.  At its blooming peak, flowers cover the entire tree.  It is esp. striking on cloudy days or in early evening because the flowers seem to almost glow in the dim light.

It won’t be long before more flowers open and the tree is covered in golden flowers.  There is one down side to this plant, however.  It is easily blown over by high winds the taller it is.  Since it is a fast grower, I usually cut mine back around the middle of June, and then it does not fall over so easily.  It does not seem to have a very deep root system, so staking it helps, too.    I think this spring I will cut it almost to the ground and let it start over.   Hopefully, that will keep it smaller and not so susceptible to falling or leaning.

This is a very easy to propagate plant, too.  Just take some cutting and place in soil, and before you know it, you have new plants.  I have done this many times to give plants to neighbors and friends.

When this cassia reaches peak blooming it can only be described as incredible.  I have had many people stop and ask what it is because, when in bloom, it is so spectacular.  So, now that the cassia tree has started blooming, I know winter is not too far off.


  1. Randy said,

    October 22, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    This is the Cassia that I’ve been trying to find for several years now and I didn’t know which one it was. There are so many. At least now I know what it is I’ve been looking for.

  2. Sheila said,

    October 22, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Beautiful little tree!

  3. Jan said,

    October 23, 2008 at 4:42 am

    Glad to be of some help, Randy. This is a great small tree or shrub when it blooms in the fall.

    Sheila, I can’t wait for it to be in full bloom. It is just starting, but when more flowers open, that is something to see.

  4. tina said,

    October 23, 2008 at 6:00 am

    Wow, it is spectacular. I can bet it would be spectacular in bloom as a 12 foot tall tree. Does it also smell good?

  5. nancybond said,

    October 23, 2008 at 6:48 am

    I love those late bloomers, Jan — they seem to extend the entire gardening season with their flush of blooms. This one is particularly pretty.

  6. Jan said,

    October 24, 2008 at 3:37 am

    Tina, unfortunately, there is no scent, but the flowers make up for that. My mother’s tree is a perfect umbrella shape and is gorgeous when in full bloom.

    Nancy, I, too, love the late bloomers. The blooms seem to be so unexpected at this time of year that they really stand out.

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