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Colutea arborescens - L.

Common Name Bladder Senna
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards The seed is poisonous[9, 65].
Habitats Open woods, roadsides, railway banks etc[9], often on calcareous soils[89].
Range S. Europe - Mediterranean. Naturalized in Britain[17].
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Colutea arborescens Bladder Senna


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Colutea arborescens Bladder Senna
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Colutea arborescens is a deciduous Shrub growing to 3.6 m (11ft) by 3 m (9ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from June to September, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees.
It can fix Nitrogen.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.
It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Hedge;

Edible Uses

None known

References

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Diuretic  Emetic  Purgative

The leaves are diuretic and purgative[4, 9]. The leaves are sometimes used as a substitute for senna as a laxative, though they are much milder in their action[4]. The plant is rather unreliable when used medicinally so is rarely employed in herbalism[9]. The seeds are emetic[4]. They are also toxic[9].

References

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An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

Read More

FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

Hedge  Hedge  Soil stabilization

The plants have an extensive root system and are used to stabilize banks and prevent soil erosion[200]. Can be grown as a hedge[200]. Nitrogen Fixer.

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife  Food Forest  Hedge  Hedge  Nitrogen Fixer

References

Cultivation details

An easily grown plant, it tolerates most soil conditions other than a water-logged soil[11]. Prefers a position in full sun but tolerates light shade[11]. Grows well on dry sunny banks[1, 182]. Dislikes strong winds, though another report in the same book says that it tolerates salt-laden winds[200]. In our experience the plants are very subject to wind-rock when grown in a windy site[K]. Tolerates atmospheric pollution[182, 200]. A fast growing plant, thriving on poor soils[182, 200]. Plants are hardy to about -20°c[184, 200]. Slugs love the young seedlings[K]. Flowers are produced on the current season's growth[182, 200]. These flowers are very attractive to bees[108]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200]. The plant is heat tolerant in zones 8 through 6. (Plant Hardiness Zones show how well plants withstand cold winter temperatures. Plant Heat Zones show when plants would start suffering from the heat. The Plant Heat Zone map is based on the number of "heat days" experienced in a given area where the temperature climbs to over 86 degrees F (30°C). At this temperature, many plants begin to suffer physiological damage. Heat Zones range from 1 (no heat days) to 12 (210 or more heat days). For example Heat Zone. 11-1 indicates that the plant is heat tolerant in zones 11 through 1.) For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. The plant growth habit is multistemmed with multiple stems from the crown [1-2].

References

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

Fahrenheit:

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - pre-soak for 24 hours in hot water and sow late winter in a greenhouse[113]. Scarification can help speed up the germination process[164]. Germination can be slow and erratic[200], though treated seed usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 20°c[164]. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame[78]. Cuttings are not very long-lived[78].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Colutea istriaBladder-sennaShrub3.0 6-9  LMHSNDM00 
Colutea x media Shrub3.0 5-9 FLMHSNDM00 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

1189200]

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Ian Powell   Mon May 2 04:37:23 2005

Any clarification would be appreciated. Growing it now. http://www.sutherlandia.org/

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