Coffee Senna
Cassia occidentalis
Caesalpinaceae (Caesalpinia) Family

Coffee Senna is also known as Coffeeweed, Mogdad Coffee, Negro-Coffee, Stephanie Coffee, Stinkingweed or Styptic Weed.

Plant is an upright, branched, annual herb.  Preferred habitat is disturbed areas, waste places, roadsides and the margin of thickets and stream banks.  Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

The leaves are alternate on the stem; pinnately divided; no conspicuous gland at the base of the leaf stalk; leaflets number 4 - 5 pairs.  Tip of a leaflet is sharp pointed, and base is rounded, nearly heart-shaped; scattered teeth may be present; 1-1/2 inches wide at the lower end with an overall length of 3-1/2 inches.  The entire compound leaf may be as much as 10 inches in length.

Flowers are clusters arising from the leaf axils; irregular in form; bisexual.  The five sepals are green and the five petals are yellow to tan; 6-7 stamens of different lengths.  Flowers occur in late summer and early autumn.

Fruit is a legume.

The name Cassia is ancient Greek for a particular aromatic plant.  The Latin word occidentalis means western, and refers to the origin.  The plant is reported to be highly toxic if ingested in large quantities.  The seeds are known to be weakly toxic to various stock animals; however, animals normally avoid browsing the plant.

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