Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Candles in the Garden

When I was a kid my mother grew ~ what we called the Candlestick plant 'Senna alata' in her garden. I've heard it referred to by many different names - candle bush, candle tree and candelabra bush. It was always one of my favorites and I have grown it from seeds in every yard I've ever had.  

I first grew it because of its memories from my childhood but later learned that it is a host plant for the Cloudless Sulphur butterflies. Apparently, they are attracted to this striking plant as much as I am, but for different reasons.  

 As you can see by the photos - I really LOVE this plant! I used it to fill in empty spaces throughout my newly established garden and within a few warm (I mean HOT) summer months it now is the shining star in my garden.  

 It's towering presence has quickly created the cozy, jungley feeling I'm in search of, and even though these plants will be cut back they will return next summer with their brightly shining candles.


Jean Campbell said...

Every fall when I see these beautiful legumes blooming in the gardens of others, I feel a pang of regret that I didn't plant seeds early on.

They're not root hardy here but worth the effort of planting seeds, if only for the delight of Sulfur butterflies.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

What a wonderful plant! I had that a long time ago, grown from seeds. Those candles are lovely bits of color in your gardens.

Happy Fall dear Susan ~ FlowerLady

janiceflorida said...

Susan, those are beautiful plants! I can't recall ever seeing them before, but I'm putting them on my seed list for next year. My new privacy fence is looking a little bare, I need some nice tall flowers like those. I just love plants that evoke childhood memories.

Lynn McIntosh said...

I absolutely love this plant! I sure can see why it'd be called the candleabra - it's well named. It truly adds a beautiful, bold and towering presence and I adore the jungly look too. Beautiful!

Leslie Kimel said...

The flowers really do look like candles. What a beautiful plant! I can see why you loved it as a child--it's so fanciful; it's like something out of a fairy tale.

Susan said...

Hi Jean, If we get a freeze they will get burned, but come back. Even if they don't get damaged they need to be trimmed back or they will eventually split and break off but they are a great addition to the late summer garden.

Hi Lorraine, I do love their bright yellow flowers. Hope you are enjoying these milder days in your garden.

Hi Janice, They are beginning to set seeds. If you would like some I'd be happy to mail you some. They grow super easy. Send your address to me via email - smyers1108atgmail.com. That goes for anyone else who would like seeds.

Hi Lynn, it is a neat old plant that grows super fast.

Hi Leslie, it's kind of like a jack in the beanstalk plant because it grows so fast. It's a must-have plant in my garden. I just bought a Rosinweed at a native plant sale because I remembered how beautiful it is in your garden.

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