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Cassia corymbosa bloomed on Labor Day Weekend (8/30) at the Raulston Arboretum at a time when not many shrubs are looking full of gold.

Overall this large shrub has a aspect like a bigger, later-flowering Hypericum - until you look close. The corymbs of 3-8 flowers, each being 2-3cm wide, come in a pale golden color - not too dark nor too light. The stamens present themselves boldly, curving down and then up. The darkish, sharply pointed leaflets give very fine-textured look overall. The buds are nearly perfect ovoid shapes.

It is a native of Argentina and some surrounding lands and came to Europe in about 1796. It has become popular as a cool greenhouse shrub but will handle USDA 7-8 outdoors with ease. From what little I know about Cassia species, it seems that Brazilian C. splendida with its 4cm orange-yellow flowers would be superior for the conservatory to this species. Neither of these two are as common as tinier, semi-woody C. marilandica which grows as north as USDA 4-5 by most accounts.

It is sometimes listed as Senna corymbosa but we will follow W.J. Bean on genus assignment for the time being.

Click both images to enlarge.