Plant of the Month – January


Feathery & Desert Cassia

Masses of yellow flowers cover both Feathery and Desert Cassia when flowers are scarce in winter; both plants are extremely tough and drought-tolerant.

Senna artemisioides &

Senna artemisioides filifolia

(formerly Cassia nemophila)

  • Plant Form: Evergreen Shrub
  • Water Use: Very Low
  • Mature Size: 6’- 8’ tall and wide
  • Exposure: Full Sun, Part Shade
  • Bloom Time: Winter to Spring (December – May)
  • Native to: Australia
  • Hardiness: Cold hardy to 15°F



When flowers are scarce in the middle of winter, these two Cassias burst out with masses of fragrant yellow flowers, and steal the show in Southwest landscapes. Both Feathery and Desert Cassia (bush pictured here) survive on minimal water, but respond with more lush growth and more flowers with a little added water (too much water causes yellowing). Feathery Cassia’s silvery sheen adds interest in the breeze. Desert Cassia’s narrow, bright green foliage bestows its other name, Green Cassia. Pea-like flowers create lime-green seedpods which later darken to brown; pruning in late spring removes these pods for a tidier look (avoid pruning after July, or you’ll remove flower buds that start forming in August). These extremely tough plants can be used interchangeably as a great background plant, as contrast for darker green plants, massed in groups, or to complement succulents.