Colutea arborescens L.

Fully-hardy, vigorous shrub with pinnate leaves composed of 5-6 pairs of broadly elliptic leaflets and racemes of 3-8 yellow, pea-like flowers in summer, followed by green, then translucent, seed pods.  To 3m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘The Bladder Senna, a native of the South of France and Italy, produces a profusion of bloom from June to August, when its inflated pods please from the singularity of their appearance; on these accounts, it is one of the most common flowering shrubs cultivated in gardens and plantations.’  [BM t.81/1789].  Introduced to England in the 16th century. ‘The leaves of the bladder-senna are used to adulterate the Senna of the druggists.’  [JD].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.337/1843].


Published Dec 13, 2009 - 04:11 PM | Last updated Jul 18, 2010 - 05:02 PM

The figure shows pinnate leaves, bright yellow pea flowers and bladder-like legumes.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine BM t.81, 1789.

Colutea arborescens L. | BM t.81/1789 | BHL

More details about Colutea arborescens L.
Family Fabaceae
Region of origin

Southern Europe

Common Name

Bladder senna

Name in the Camden Park Record

Colutea arborescens - Bladder senna

Confidence level high