Cassia alata (Candlestick Plants)
Light: Full Sun
Water: Moist, Well Drained, Moderately Drought Tollerant
Soil: Acidic to Mildly Alkaline, but Not Picky
Reclassified as Senna alata. A member of the legume family, its large leaves will fold up at night and the numerous blooms are borne in long, upright spikes of waxy, bright yellow buds that resemble fat candles before the flowers open (and an individual opened blossom looks like a piece of buttered popcorn!). It is a very quick grower and will flower in the first year. Winter frosts may freeze off only the top of the plant, or it may be damaged partway down the thick trunk, but it should return without much trouble in the spring. Caterpillars of the sulphur butterflies, which are as yellow as the blooms, will use it as a food source; don’t worry about them too much, as the plant will make plenty of leaves and buds to spare.
Cassia corymbosa (Flowery Senna)
Light: Full Sun
Water: Normal to Moist, Well Drained, Drought Tollerant Once Established
Soil: Acidic to Neutral, Sandy Loam to Clay Loam
An easy to grow, low maintainance, multi-trunked shrub or small tree that will be covered from fall to spring with numerous terminal clusters of bright yellow, one inch flowers that attract butterflies. They can also be trained as an espalier against a wall or fence. The leaves will be evergreen down to temperatures in the teens, and the entire plant can take a ways beyond that before freezing. Though they prefer full sun, they can bloom quite nicely in partial shade. They’re also deer-resistant!