Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia


Senna artemisioides ssp. x sturtii

The Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan - July

Common name Sturt’s cassia, silver cassia
Scientific name Senna artemisioides ssp. x sturtii (R.Br.) Randell
Family  Fabaceae – Caesalpinioideae

Genus: Senna - from the Arabic sana; used for species that have purgative and laxative components in leaves and pods.

Species: artemisioides - like the genus Artemisia.

Subspecies: sturtii - after Charles Sturt, 19th century explorer in southern and central Australia.

Distribution Widely distributed in inland regions of Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Native habitat Grows in mallee communities and shrubland on rocky hillsides and in deep desert sands.
Description A small rounded shrub, 1-2 m x 1-1.5 m. The pinnate leaves are 2-4 cm long and are covered with grey hairs. The small pea shaped flowers are 1.5-2 cm across and are golden yellow in colour.
Flowering/fruiting Flowers in May through to October. Pods that are 8 cm long first appear green then age to brown during spring and early summer.

Location in Garden

In bed 28 in the connections garden.


This beautiful shrub, now known as Senna, was previously included in the genus Cassia.

Taxonomists have made changes to the names of many species of this genus, to reflect their relationship better.

Hybridisation occurs readily amongst plant varieties, sub-species and species of the genus. This often results in ‘hybrid swarms’ with a range of intermediate characteristics, making it impossible to distinguish between the species.

A very decorative garden shrub, it can be used as an informal hedge and can be easily grown beneath mature eucalypts. Best suited to inland areas, but also adaptable to coastal regions. This plant can be grown in free draining soils that are either acidic or alkaline. It does best in a sunny position and will tolerate light frosts. Drought tolerant, it responds well to hard pruning in spring.