Senna petersiana

Senna petersiana

Common Names

Monkey Pod (english)
Apiespeul (afrikaans)
umnembenembe (zulu)

Taxonomy

Family FABACEAE
Genus Senna
Species petersiana
SA Plant Number 21
Basionym Senna petersiana

Description

Senna petersiana is a fairly hardy, deciduous shrub or small tree with attractive feathery leaves and grey-brown fissured bark. It bears massed spikes of scented, yellow flowers from February to April. These are carried above the leaves and attract insects and birds to the garden. The flowers are followed long, hanging, brown, edible pods which also attract birds.

A good tree for the smaller garden. Plant in full sun or semi-shade.

Size: 4 to 6m

Wildlife

Nectar rich flowers:

The nectar rich flowers attract insects and birds to the garden.

Pods:

The pods attract birds to the garden that feed on them.

Uses

Landscaping:

A decorative tree for small gardens.

Culinary:

The pods are edible, they are soaked, ground up and then eaten as a sort of porridge. The sweet pulp of undried fruit is eaten by children.

Medicinal:

Senna petersianna is widely used as a traditional medicinal plant. Leaves, roots, bark and seeds are all used medicinally. Its uses include as a purgative and an antimalarial.

Distribution

KwaZulu Natal, Mpumlanga

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