In L.A., spring fever feels like it comes a bit early. Just the other day I was strolling along, turned the corner, and ran into a voluptuous vision of flowery buttered popcorn realness. What is this 'realness' of which I speak? Let me introduce you to Senna didymobotrya (previously known as Cassia didymobotrya) also referred to as Popcorn Senna. Encountering Senna didymobotrya conjures up the most beautiful sunshiny day you can imagine. This semi-deciduous, multi-branching shrub comes to us from central and eastern Africa. Its definitely got a tropical vibe going on.
Senna didymobotrya outfits itself in lush leathery pinnate leaves that when rubbed leave your hands smelling like fresh buttered popcorn. From spring through fall this shrub starts poppin' with 1 foot tall spikes of richly contrasting deep dark plump flower buds that pop with rich yummy yellow popcorn kernal-like flowers. Allegedly, the flowers supposedly smell of peanut butter. I did a sniff sample and found the scent very faint. Senna didymobotrya can grow 6 to 10 feet tall and wide. It likes full sun, well-draining soil, regular water, and is hardy to about 30 degrees fahrenheit/-1 degree celsius. Also, a strange but interesting fact is that extracts from this shrub are used as mosquito larvicides to kill mosquitos. So, quite possibly, mosquitoes aren't too keen on hanging around this shrub. I just find this plant to be so delicious in every way. It looks cool. It smells good. The birds, bees, and butterflies dig it. So join me and let Popcorn Senna into your plant lovin' heart. You'll get spring fever too!