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CASSIA afrofistula

Image of Cassia afrofistula

Richard Lyons Nursery, Inc.

Family

Fabaceae

Botanical Name

CASSIA afrofistula

Plant Common Name

Autumn Golden Shower, Dwarf Golden Shower, Kenyan Shower

General Description

Lemon-yellow flowers in floppy, upright clusters grace the branches of the Kenyan shower during the warmest months of the year. An evergreen tree native to eastern Africa, this species is smaller and more cold-tolerant than the golden shower (Cassia fistula). Kenyan shower is an exceptional choice for gardens with more limited space where winter frosts are more likely.

The long compound leaves are deep green and comprise 12 to 20 leaflets with a satiny sheen. Individual leaflets are rounded and oval with a blunt taper. Youngest branches on this tree are downy. The faintly fragrant blossoms occur in large, airy clusters on branch tips from early summer into autumn. Attracting butterflies for pollination, the flowers later develop into long brown seed pods with a corky pulp.

Grow Kenyan shower in abundant sunlight where soil is moderately fertile and well-drained. Avoid highly alkaline soils. Moist soil in the heat of summer promotes good growth, but allow ground to become much drier from fall to early spring. Repeated frosts in winter will cause progressive leaf drop. This tree's open, somewhat rounded habit and smaller mature size makes it good for courtyards, small yards or small avenues inland or near the ocean.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 9

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 13

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 13, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    15'-20' / 4.6m - 6.1m

  • Width

    18'-22' / 5.5m - 6.7m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall

  • Native To

    Eastern Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Lemon Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Brown, Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Foundation, Shade Trees, Street Trees, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No