Bladderpod, Bladder Senna (Coletea arborescens)

Bladderpod, Bladder Senna (Coletea arborescens)  (23940 bytes)    Bladderpod, Bladder Senna (Coletea arborescens) is a fast growing, attractive shrub, hardy to zone 5. It can grow to a height of 10 to 13 feet. Its light green foliage forms a medium to dense crown. Native to southern Europe, North Africa and the western Himalayas, this plant is said to be the only vegetation to be found growing in the crater of Vesuvius. Bladderpod will tolerate any well-drained soil; acid, neutral or alkaline, and actually thrives in nutritionally poor soils.  It prefers full sun, but will tolerate partial shade, and has low water needs. Drought tolerant once established, this adaptable shrub also tolerates pollution and is a good choice for an urban xeric garden. The extended flowering period and attractive pods make it a good ornamental shrub.
Bladderpod, foliage  (5676 bytes) Bladderpod, fall foliage (6381 bytes) Foliage consists of small leaflets on pinnately compound leaves, and is bright green in color. Good fall color, ranging from yellow to red.
  bladderpod flowers (6881 bytes) bladderpod blossom (2645 bytes) Flowers are showy, yellow, and pea-like. It is in flower from June to September.
bladderpod seedpods (9986 bytes) mature bladderpod pods (6360 bytes)  seedpod dehisces at the tip (2766 bytes) bladderpod seeds (4382 bytes) Fruits are large, inflated purple seedpods about 1 inches long. These mature from September to October into papery pods; a favorite of children, who love to pop them. Each legume dehisces at the tip, spilling out several small seeds. The pods remain on the plant, making seed available for wildlife and providing visual interest, throughout the winter.
bladderpod bark (2887 bytes) Bark is bronze-colored and may have to be protected from mice and rabbits.

Photos: Judy Sedbrook

 

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010