14 - SENA EMPENADA
Chamaecrista desvauxii var. latistipula G.P.Lewis (LEGUMINOSAE)
14- Sena empenada - Chamaecrista desvauxii var. latistipula GPLewis (LEGUMINOSAE)
Sub-shrub up to 1.4 m tall, erect, with little branching. Leaves 5 to 8 cm long, rounded, hairless, cardboard texture and characteristic coloring. Flowers 3 to 6 cm long, yellow like many legumes. Seeds in vegetables up to 5 cm long by 0.5 cm wide, with seeds of 0.4 cm x 0.2 cm, rectangular.
The bluish green color and the shape covered with “scales”, in contrast to the color of the red earth in the background, was so strange that it looked like it was exploring a flora from Mars. Yellow flowers also stood out, and the late afternoon light created an atmosphere that completed the effect. Really, the warped sena is a native plant so far from everyday life that it seems out of this world.
The ancient naturalistic explorers who crossed the planet in search of novelties came across things that are common today, but imagine the first European who saw an anteater and his job to describe it to others. Today a lot is accessible, we can travel, buy and see news, and we get used to a constant strangeness rhythm. The exotic became accessible on the shelves of a supermarket.
Distribution: South America, in open and sunny fields.
Situation in São Paulo: Common, found in fragments of cerrado. It reproduces a lot in some places, forming large groups, and it is easy to visualize on the side of roads.
How to plant: The pods are collected and the seeds are removed to simply bury and water, without needing a special land. I've seen it being born and developing right in the middle of rubble. New seedlings can be transplanted, which grow very quickly at the edge of the mother plant in full sun.
Uses: Recommended for ecological restoration because it is native legume and not very invasive. Great ornamental potential does not understand why it is not normally seen in gardens.