Senna ligustrina: a Native and Host plant for Sulphur Butterflies

Senna ligustrina, or privet senna, is an easy to grow Florida native plant. It is a nectar plant for pollinators and a larval host plant for species of sulphur butterflies. This is a perennial that lives for several years and produces beautiful yellow flowers and thin bean pods. It prefers full sun but will also grow in part-sun, with sandy, well-drained soil. 

Senna ligustrina has beautiful yellow flowers. Photo copyright by Shirley Denton and may not be be used without permission.

Quick Facts
Common name: Privet senna
Scientific name: Senna ligustrina
Family: Fabaceae (Bean family)
Zone: 9a – 11
Height: 4 – 8’
Width: 3-6’

Privet senna grows fast and can reach its mature height of 8′ in one year. Photo: Tia Silvasy, UF/IFAS

Privet senna naturally occurs on the east and west coasts of central and south Florida. It grows easily from seed and is readily available in native plant nurseries.

Privet senna is the larval host for the cloudless sulphur butterfly. Photo by Marc Minno, UF/IFAS

More on Senna ligustrina:
Florida Native Plant Society

Florida Wildflower Foundation

Florida-Friendly Landscaping

Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly  

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Posted: January 14, 2024

Category: Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Home Landscapes, Horticulture, Natural Resources, UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: Butterfly, Florida Native, Hillsborough County, Privet Senna, Senna Ligustrina, Sulphur Butterfly, Tampa, Tsilvasy

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