The distinctive foliage of wild senna (Senna hebecarpa) is topped with racemes of bright yellow flowers which are attractive to many bees.. Although the bloom time is brief, the large brown seed pods which follow are enjoyed by birds, including game birds such as quail.
Although the flowers of wild senna contain no nectar, they still pack a nutritional punch: Their pollen has an especially high protein-to-lipid ratio, making it particularly valuable food for bees. The nectar is found in small, club-shaped glands near the base of the leaf, called extrafloral nectaries. The sweet nectar offered in this way attracts insects such as ants and ladybugs, who in turn protect the plant from other insects that might snack on the foliage.Wild senna is also a host plant for several sulphur butterflies.
And, like other members of the pea (Fabaceae) family, wild senna produces nitrogen-rich compounds which feed the soil as well. This statuesque plant makes a great herbaceous hedge or backdrop for other perennials.