Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cassia didymobotrya is my favorite plant in the garden, this week…


The sign said “popcorn cassia” and thus caught my attention. I loved the look of the foliage and had decided to purchase it, even before it was pointed out to me that the leaves smelled of buttered popcorn when crushed, that was just a bonus (I thought the name was referring the shape and butter-yellow color of the flowers).

My Cassia didymobotrya was just a tiny thing when I bought it, no more than 6” tall. It’s grown to be 2½’ tall and currently has multiple flower spikes and fat black buds. Not bad for only two months in the ground!

Depending on who you listen to this plant might be hardy in USDA Zone 8, is hardy in Zone 9, or doesn't stand a chance lower than Zone 10.

When I bought it I was okay with that, but now I've grown rather attached and would really like it to live through the winter. Perhaps I'll have to look into Cassia hebecarpa, which is reportedly hardy to to Zone 4. Or maybe we'll have a mild winter (hope springs eternal).

The stats:
  • native legume of east Africa
  • grows up to 8ft tall x 5-10ft wide
  • wants full sun with even moisture
  • evergreen

Anything you're especially enamored with in your garden this week?

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

33 comments:

  1. Cross fingers it will sail through fine in your garden. Because if it does then this beauty should be fine in ours too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Odd coincidence we had quite the wind yesterday afternoon. With all the flowers and buds the plant is quite top heavy and it was almost horizontal after the wind. I think it will be okay (I staked it) but I was quite upset at first thinking I'd lost it to the wind not the cold.

      Delete
  2. What coincidence! I almost bought one at Annie's Annuals last weekend. I thought it was the flowers that smell like buttered popcorn?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually got confused and thought I had already read this post -- then remembered that it was *you* who mentioned this the other day!

      Delete
    2. Gerhard - I smell only a faint flowery odor from the flowers, but if you run your hand along the leaves WOW very strong smell of slightly burnt buttery popcorn.

      Delete
  3. I just saw one at a nursery a few weeks ago too but didn't buy it because of the hardiness label. I hope it sails through this, our mildest winter in years, with no problem at all! Didn't know about the fragrance of the leaves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can I get that in writing please? (our mildest winter in years)

      Delete
  4. The one I bought last year (and also loved) turned to buttered toast during winter :( Lets hope for a mild winter this time!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the leaves...we have some cassia's here but not that one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are pretty wonderful (the leaves).

      Delete
  6. My favorite plant is Musa basjoo right now. My Musa basjoo this morning

    ReplyDelete
  7. Why don't I have one of these? Here's my favorite this week: http://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2014/09/my-favorite-plant-this-week-cuphea.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I should send you all my "in ground" plants that aren't hardy here come winter!

      Delete
  8. I grew this as an annual in my zone 6 garden last year. Loved it. Yeah, I must find a similar and HARDY species. Really like all the legumes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oddly so do I (like the legumes). It's the leaves!

      Delete
  9. I was thinking of this plant earlier in the week since the small nursery that carried it has closed. It's a fun one for the garden and I'll look for another source in the spring.

    Here's mine for this week

    http://rockoakdeer.blogspot.com/2014/09/my-favorite-new-plant-in-garden-this.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And it will winter over for you right?

      Delete
    2. If we have a mild winter. I lost that one when it was new and we had a deep freeze (15F) about two years ago so I'll wait until spring to give it a better head start. If you can collect seeds, they grow so well from seeds that I have two gold cassias courtesy of the neighbors.

      Delete
    3. Good to know about the seeds. I'll keep an eye out for them. If I get any can I send some your way?

      Delete
  10. My favorite plant is the Yucca rostrata I finally got into the ground in the front gravel garden. Phormium 'Allison Blackman' was looking increasingly water stressed so she was sacrificed. Hope mine grows up fast to catch up to Sammy. I love the cassias and crotolarias and caelsalpinas (sp?) but they get huge here. I need t get the hang of the cut-back shrubs and not do such a butcher job on them. Hope it winters over for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay for getting plants finally in the ground! I just got a Ficus afghanistanica 'Silver Lyre' which I'll be practicing my cut-back not butcher skills on.

      Delete
  11. Wow, it is beautiful, I hope it does not die this winter...

    ReplyDelete
  12. So is it really popcorn-y? Great symmetrical foliage. It reminds me of Tipuana tipu.
    My favourite this week is as close as I've managed to get to a plant you featured a while ago. So thank you! http://crmbsgrdn.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/my-favourite-plant-in-garden-this-week.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't even guess what your fav might be, but it's a good one! And yes mine really is popcorn-y...

      Delete
  13. A great plant.

    A bit belated, but another agave for me this week, agave parryi HK1684. http://spikyobsession.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/agave-parryi-hk-1684-is-my-belated.html

    ReplyDelete
  14. The flowers are a different colour, but the leaves remind me of the indigenous (to here) plant Indigofera Australis. The scent of your must be amazing. This is a great meme, and I hope to join in when I can get it together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes I can see the similarities in the foliage. I have a tiny Indigofera amblyantha (a start shared by a friend) and love it too. Sadly (or maybe it's a good thing for some) you can only smell the foliage when it's touched. I'm sitting just 6 ft from it right now and can't smell a thing.

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!