1 gallon; 5 gallon
Full Sun; Filtered Sun
Early fall to shape
A lush tropical looking plant with a fun scent. Popcorn cassia has bright golden yellow (like buttered popcorn) blooms emerging from contrasting plump black buds on foot-long stems that rise well above the leaves almost Spring through Fall. A powerful garden accent and fast-growing multi-branching shrub reaching 6-10 feet tall. It grows best in full sun in rich, well-drained soil but does appreciate some filtered shade in the most intense summer heat. Prune after flowering to keep more compact. It does not have any significant pests and is not favored by rabbits. A legume from tropical central and eastern Africa that is common in disturbed areas, but it is also grown as an ornamental plant worldwide. Because it is a legume and a nitrogen fixer, it has also been used as a cover crop or green manure crop in some locations. It was previously classified in the genus Cassia, and that has remained as part of its common name. The other part of the common name comes from the scent of the foliage when rubbed – often described as that of buttered popcorn.
Growing Plants in the Desert — Important Information
The information presented here is, to the best of my knowledge, accurate and based on my research from reliable sources, observations I have made of plants growing in my, and other gardens I have visited, and observations of the plants in their native habitats. I would appreciate your feedback and experience to help me educate others!
Cacti: In my experience, cacti are much happier in the filtered shade here in the low desert of the Coachella Valley. Colors are more vibrant and they bloom more profusely, especially the non-native varieties. If you pay attention to how our native barrel and beavertail opuntia grow in the wild, it is frequently tucked in the rocks under creosote or another shrub.
Light Requirements: I have found that in our desert (Sonoran/Colorado) “full sun” plants can take and appreciate the late afternoon filtered sun, especially in the hot summer months.