Alexandrian Senna is a shrubby plant that reaches 0.5–1 meters, rarely two meters in height with a branched, pale-green erect stem and long spreading branches bearing four or five pairs of leaves. Senna Alexandrina is also known under the names Egyptian senna, Tinnevelly senna, East Indian senna or the French séné de la palthe.
It grows natively in upper Egypt, especially in the Nubian region, and near Khartoum, where it is cultivated commercially. It is also grown elsewhere, notably in India and Somalia.
The flowers are in a raceme interior blossoms, big in size, colored yellow that tends to brown. Its legume fruit are horned, broadly oblong, compressed and flat and contain about six seeds.
Historically, Senna Alexandrina was used in the form of senna pods, or as herbal tea made from the leaves, as a laxative. It also serves as a fungicide.
Growing Alexandrian Senna
- Sow seed at 18-24C in spring.
- The seeds need to be scarified or else can be soaked overnight in warm water before planting.
- If you start the seed indoors, use biodegradable peat pots to accommodate their taproots and reduce the risk of transplant shock.
- Germination can take one week to three months.
- The plant needs well drained soil.
- It should be planted in full sun to flower and produce the most colorful blossoms, but can also grow in partial shade.
- Can be successfully grown in containers.
Information is for educational and informational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment offered by healthcare professionals.