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CASSIA queenslandica

Image of Cassia queenslandica

Peter Richardson

Family

Fabaceae

Botanical Name

CASSIA queenslandica

Plant Common Name

Queensland Cassia, Yellow Shower

General Description

Showy pendent clusters of yellow flowers flop from the leafy branch tips of the Queensland cassia and later yield long, ribbed seed pods. Native to northeastern Queensland, Australia, it is found in both tropical rainforests and sunny woodland edges. It develops an open canopy of branches and foliage but maintains a spreading, coarsely rounded habit. Snap a twig and it smells of bacon.

The compound leaves comprise 10 to 16 elongated oval leaflets. They are medium bright green and leathery. During the returning warmth of spring, branch tips produce long, plump, pendulous flower clusters (inflorescences). The more than 50 individual blossoms in each cluster have large petals of brilliant soft yellow. They age to more golden yellow. Pollinated by insects, the flowers develop into long, slender, cylindrical seed pods that are noticeably grooved or ribbed. Pods ripen to deep brown with reddish seeds inside.

For finest flower production, plant Queensland cassia in full sun. Any fertile, moist but well-drained soil will suffice, with a pH range from slightly acid to barely alkaline. Moist soil from spring to autumn is needed, with drier conditions in the cool, nearly frost-free winter months. Use this spectacular flowering tree in a park or spacious campus as an uncrowded shade tree. It does not produce as much leaf litter as many other cassia trees.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

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

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    30'-45' / 9.1m - 13.7m

  • Width

    25'-30' / 7.6m - 9.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring, Late Winter

  • Native To

    Australia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Spreading

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Lemon Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Tan, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Shade Trees, Street Trees, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No