Senna alata (L.) Roxb.

Etymology Genus From the Arabic name Sana
Species Winged; referring to the winged fruits
Family Fabaceae
Synonyms Cassia alata L., Cassia bracteata L.f.
Common Names Seven Golden Candlesticks, Ringworm Tree
Status Exotic: Naturalised
Form Shrub
Native Distribution Northern part of South America


Senna alata is a shrub that can be found growing wild in our scrublands. Its erect and flaming yellow-orange inflorescence makes it easy to identify. The leaflets are also rather diagnostic, being large and almost rectangular.

Interesting Facts:

The Seven Golden Candlesticks is one of the first few plants that I learnt, and I remembered asking "what's with the seven"? Apparently, this name originated from the Bible in the Old Testament when God instructed Moses to make a golden lampstand with 6 branches (adding to a total of 7) to be placed in the holy tentage for worshipping him (Exodus 25: 31-40).

Form of the Seven Golden Candlesticks.

Compound leaf.

Inflorescence with developing fruits.

Close-up of a leaflet.

Fruits are 4-winged.



Author: Jake
Posted: 2014-02-16 / Modified: 2017-12-25