Colutea arborescens L.

Bladder Senna
Fabaceae (Pea Family)


Bladder senna is a non-spiny deciduous shrub growing to 15' tall with odd-1-pinnate, alternate leaves having 9-13 ovate to broadly elliptical leaflets that are hairless above and sparsely-hairy beneath, mucronulate or emarginate-tipped, with small stipules. The inflorescence is a few-flowered axillary raceme. The flowers are papilionaceous, rather large and bright yellow, with a broadly cup-shaped calyx having five short teeth, wings nearly as long to as long as the keel, and a corolla with reddish veins.  The keel is about 3/4" long and is blunt at the apex, and there are nine united stamens and one free.  The fruit is an inflated, translucent and papery pod to 1-1/2" that is indehiscent and contains numerous seeds.  Bladder senna is a spring and summer bloomer, native to Europe, and may be found in waste or disturbed areas below 1500'.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Colutea 2) arborescens.
Pronunciation: ko-LOO-tee-a ar-bore-ES-ens.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.