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GWAA

The Garden Writers Association


Last Update 06/03/08

Plant of the Month

Cassia fistula

 Golden Shower tree, Purging Cassia

Cassia fistula (Golden Shower Tree or Purging Cassia) is a late spring to mid-summer bloomer (with the heaviest blooming in June) that puts on a massive golden yellow floral display. The fragrant flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies. The plant is native to S.E. Asia, Pacific Islands, Central and South America.

Cassia fistula

Plant Facts:

Common Name:   Golden Shower Tree, Purging Cassia

Botanical Name:   Cassia fistula

Family:  Fabaceae 

Plant Type:  Deciduous in winter and during droughts

Origin: S.E. Asia, Pacific Islands, Central and South America

Zones: 10 - 11

Height:  25 - 40'

Rate of Growth: Fast

Salt Tolerance: Medium

Soil Requirements:  Deep, well drained, moderately fertile soil

Water Requirements: Medium drought tolerance

Nutritional Requirements: Balanced liquid fertilizer monthly

Light Requirements: Full sun

Form:  Spreading tree

Leaves:  Bright green to 24" long

Flowers: Bright golden yellow

Fruits: Pods 1 - 2' long

Pests or diseases:  None major

Uses:  Specimen plant, Shade tree

Bad Habits: Flowers attract many bees and butterflies

Cost:  $$ -- Very reasonable

Propagation:  Seeds, allow to soak overnight before planting, root semi-ripe cuttings in summer

Sources:  Tropical Look: An Encyclopedia of Dramatic Landscape Plants;Flowering Trees of FloridaAmerican Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants

 
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