rattlebox senna, more...
[Cassia covesii A. Gray]
Plant: perennial subshrub to 50 cm, unarmed, leafy, densely white-hairy Leaves: even-1-pinnate, alternate; stipules bristle-like, some persistent; leaflets 2-3 pairs, overlapped, opposite, short-stalked, 1-2.5 cm, elliptic INFLORESCENCE: in axillary racemes, 5-15 mm, few-flowered Flowers: generally slightly bilateral, generally showy; sepals ± free; petals free, ± 12 mm, oblong-obovate, prominently veined, pale yellow; stamens free, 7 fertile, 3 sterile, anthers generally > filaments, opening by terminal pores Fruit: legume, dehiscent, 2-5 cm, oblong, ± straight,splitting at both sutures, pubescent; Seeds several Misc: Dry, sandy desert washes, slopes; 500-600 m.; Apr References: Shreve and Wiggins 1964. J.C. Hickman, ed. The Jepson Manual.
Wiggins 1964, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Subshrub General: Perennial from a slightly woody base and woody rootstock with spreading and ascending branches 30-60 cm long and grayish to tawny-velvety pubescence throughout. Leaves: Stipules linear, 5-12 mm long, caducous; petioles 2-5 cm long, bearing a small apiculate gland on a stalk to 3 mm long between the lowest of 2-3 pairs of leaflets; leaflets elliptic to oblong or oblong-obovate to 1.5 cm wide, 1-3 cm long, rounded and mucronulate at apex. Flowers: Peduncles 3-7 cm long, normally surpassing leaves, 3-7 flowered, pedicels 1-1.5 cm long; sepals 6-8 mm long, densely hirsutulous, rounded at apex, thin; clawed petals 10-16 mm long, imbricated in bud, yellow, dark-veined. Fruits: Pod oblong, 5-6 mm wide, 2-3.5 cm long, moderately appressed-pubescent, bearing a subulate tip 2-4 mm long. Ecology: Found on flats and along washes, in gravelly and rocky soils from 1,000-3,000 ft (305-914 m); flowers April-October. Distribution: s CA, s NV, AZ, s NM; south to n MEX. Notes: Distinguished from S. bauhinioides by having 2-4 pairs of leaflets, rather than a single pair. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Senna is from Arabic Sena, while covesii is named for Elliot Coues (1842-1899) an American naturalist who is best known for his ornithological work. Synonyms: Cassia covesii Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015