Scientific Name: Senna covesii
Synonym: Cassia covesii
Common Names: Coves' Cassia, Coues' Cassia, Desert Senna
Growth Habit: Subshrub, Herb/Forb
Arizona Native Status: Native
Habitat: Desert. This wildflower often grows on rocky slopes.
Flower Color: Yellow
Flowering Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Height: Up to 2 feet (61 cm) tall
Description: The flowers are 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide and have 5 cupped petals. The flowers are followed long, fuzzy, brown bean pods that become woody and twisted and split in half when dry. The leaves are dull green to gray-green in color and pinnately compound with 2 to 3 pairs of elliptical leaflets. The stems are thornless, tan in color, and covered in fuzzy hair.
The similar Twinleaf Senna (Senna bauhinioides) has leaves with only a single pair of leaflets, while Velvet Leaf Senna (Senna lindheimeriana) has leaves with more than 3 pairs of leaflets.
Butterfly Plant – This is a favorite food plant for Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) caterpillars. If you find a Coves' Cassia with chewed leaves or flowers, look for one of these caterpillars on it.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Fabaceae – Pea family
Genus: Senna Mill. – senna
Species: Senna covesii (A. Gray) Irwin & Barneby – Coves' cassia
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