Senna gaudichaudii

leaf Main Plant Information

Genus

Senna

Species

gaudichaudii

Hawaiian Names with Diacritics

  • Heuhiuhi
  • Kalamona
  • Kolomona
  • Uhiuhi

Hawaiian Names

  • Heuhiuhi
  • Kalamona
  • Kolomona
  • Uhiuhi

Common Names

  • Gaudichaud's senna

Synonyms

  • Cassia gaudichaudii
  • Cassia glanduligera
  • Psilorhegma gaudichaudii
  • Senna glanduligera

leaf Plant Characteristics

Distribution Status

Indigenous

Endangered Species Status

No Status

Plant Form / Growth Habit

  • Partially Woody / Shrub-like
  • Shrub

Mature Size, Height (in feet)

  • Shrub, Small, 2 to 6
  • Shrub, Medium, 6 to 10
  • Shrub, Tall, Greater than 10

Life Span

Long lived (Greater than 5 years)

Landscape Uses

  • Accent
  • Hedges
  • Screening

Additional Landscape Use Information

Kolomona is a nice accent plant to add a diffrent texture to the landscape.

Source of Fragrance

  • No Fragrance

Plant Produces Flowers

Yes

leaf Flower Characteristics

Flower Type

Showy

Flower Colors

  • Greenish-White
  • Yellow

Additional Flower Color Information

Kolomona floral displays are somewhat showy but the greenish-white to chartreuse or pale yellow flowers tend to blend in with its own foliage and so do not pop out with a burst of color as do some other Senna species.

The flowers are sometimes tinged red.

Blooming Period

  • Year Round
  • Sporadic

Additional Blooming Period and Fruiting Information

Seed pods soon appear after flowering, at first as a thin green C-shaped pod, then flat and wide, eventually turning brown and dry when ripe.

leaf Leaf Characteristics

Plant texture

  • Medium

Additional Plant Texture Information

Leaf surfaces are evenly pubescent.

Leaf Colors

  • Dark Green
  • Medium Green

Additional Leaf Color Information

Leaves are medium to dark green above and light green underneath.

leaf Pests and Diseases

Additional Pest & Disease Information

Spider mites, scale, mealy bugs and aphids can be problems as well as infestations of black twig borer.

leaf Growth Requirements

Fertilizer

13-13-13 slow release fertilizer every six months. Foliar feeding in early morning with a water-soluble or an organic fertilizer (e.g. kelp or fish emulsion) at one-third to one-fourth the recommended strength every other month has proved beneficial. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Water Requirements

  • Dry

Soil must be well drained

Yes

Light Conditions

  • Full sun
  • Partial sun

Additional Lighting Information

Both wild and cultivated plants do well in both full sun and partial shade but appear best to perform in full sun conditions. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Tolerances

  • Drought

Soils

  • Cinder
  • Organic

leaf Environmental Information

Natural Range

  • Kauaʻi
  • Oʻahu
  • Molokaʻi
  • Lānaʻi
  • Maui
  • Kahoʻolawe
  • Hawaiʻi

Natural Zones (Elevation in feet, Rainfall in inches)

  • Less than 150, 0 to 50 (Dry)
  • Less than 150, 50 to 100 (Mesic)
  • 150 to 1000, 0 to 50 (Dry)
  • 150 to 1000, 50 to 100 (Mesic)
  • 1000 to 1999, 0 to 50 (Dry)
  • 2000 to 2999, 0 to 50 (Dry)
  • 3000 to 3999, 0 to 50 (Dry)

Habitat

  • Terrestrial

Additional Habitat Information

From near sea level to over 3000 feet in dry to occasional lower mesic forests within its range. Strangely kolomona has not been reported from the island of Niʻihau but is represented on all the other Main Islands.

Senna gaudichaudii is indigenous throughout the Pacific region: the New Hebrides, Ausral Islands, Rapa, Henderson Island, Fiji, the Hawaiian Islands, Australia (Cape York Pennisula south to southeastern Queensland, ) [3], and perhaps New Caledonia and Tahiti.

leaf Special Features and Information

General Information

Kolomona (Senna gaudichaudii) belong to the Pea family or Fabaceae. The genus Senna is comprised of around 250 species. A few have practical purposes such as Chinese senna (S. obtusifolia) used as a thickening agent mainly in pet food. The leaves and flowers of Siamese senna or khi-lek (S. siamea) are eaten fresh or pickled in brine particularly in gaeng khi-lek, a curry. There are also a number of medicinal uses. Perhaps the best known species is Senna italica, often called "neutral henna," used in hair treatment. [1]

There about eight naturalized species in the Hawaiian islands, some with very showy yellow floral displays. Kolomona does have such dramatic flowers but is spectacular in its own right with dainty clusters of greenish-white to chartreuse or pale yellow flowers.

Etymology

The generic name Senna is the Latinization of the Arabic sanā'.

The specific epithet gaudichaudii is named after the French botanist Charles Gaudichaud-Beaupré (1789-1854) who made several contributions to the knowledge of Hawaiian flora during his voyages to the islands.

Hawaiian Names:

The name Uhiuhi is also shared by Caesalpinia kavaiensis.

Background Information

Kolomona has medium nitrogen-fixing properties. [2]

Early Hawaiian Use

Kolomona was probably not a plant of major use. [Sam ʻOhukaniʻōhiʻa Gon III, personal communication]

Modern Use

The flowers can be strung into lei and they also produce a light green dye. [4]

Additional References

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senna_%28genus%29 [Accessed 1/6/10].

[2] USDA NRCS Conservation Plants Characteristics http://plants.usda.gov/java/charProfile?symbol=SEGA2 [Accessed 1/6/10]

[3] "Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants" http://keys.trin.org.au [Accessed 1/24/12]

[4] "Hawaiian Ethnobotany Online Database" http://data.bishopmuseum.org/ethnobotanydb [Accessed 1/24/12]

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