Seymeria cassioides

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Seymeria cassioides
Seymeria cassioides Gil.jpg
Photo was taken by Gil Nelson
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Scrophulariales
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Genus: Seymeria
Species: S. cassioides
Binomial name
Seymeria cassioides
(J.F. Gmel.) S.F. Blake
SEYM CASS dist.jpg
Natural range of Seymeria cassioides from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: Yaupon blacksenna or Senna seymeria (Nelson 2005).

Taxonomic notes

Synonym: Afzelia cassioides J.F. Gmelin.[1]


It is an annual, herbaceous root parasite on several species of southern pine but produces most of its own food.[2][3] It can grow about one meter tall and is covered in glandular hairs. Flowers are bright yellow with brown marks near the ovary and have a small pore anther opening instead of a long slit.[4] "Erect, often profusely branched, presumably parasitic, glandular-pubescent annuals. Leaves opposite, pinnately or bipinnately parted or divided into linear to filiform segments. Flowers axillary, solitary, the terminal racemes weakly differentiated. Calyx lobes 5, longer than the tube; corolla yellow, rotate, 9-10 mm long, nearly regular, the lobes 5, longer than the tube; stamens 4, exserted, filaments pubescent. Capsule ovoid, 4-6 mm long; seeds numerous, winged."[5] "Plant profusely branched, the branches ascending, stem pubescence short, antrorse. Leaves mostly less than 1 cm long, segments filiform, less than 0.5 mm wide. Calyx lobes linear, 1.5-2.5 mm long. Capsule glabrous."[5]


Seymeria cassioides can be found across the southeastern Coastal Plain region, but is primarily confined to peninsular Florida with disjunct populations in the Bahamas.[6]



In the Coastal Plain region, S. cassioides can be found in wet to mesic pine flatwoods, wet savannas, seepage slopes, and ectones between pine flatwoods and cypress/titi swamps.[7][8] It has been recorded to grow in loamy sand, red clay and poorly drained areas.[7] It is one of the most serious native parasites.[9]

S. cassioides became absent in response to soil disturbance by heavy silvilculture in North Carolina longleaf sites.[10]

Seymeria cassioides is an indicator species for the Panhandle Silty Longleaf Woodlands community type as described in Carr et al. (2010).[11] Associated species include Pinus, Cypress, and Cyrilla.[7]


This species has been observed to flower from September to October[12][13] with each flower only lasting for one day.[9]

Seed dispersal

This species is thought to be dispersed by wind.[14]

Seed bank and germination

It requires exposed mineral soil and light on the soil surface to germinate.[15][16] One plant can produce up to 150,000 seeds.[17]

Fire ecology

It often reproduces profusely after fire because it has the ability to reproduce quickly on open ground.[2] Thus, the best way to control S. cassioides may be to implement a prescribed burn after seeds germinate in the spring, but before flowers appear.[17]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Plantations appear to be at a higher risk of high Seymeria populations than natural stands because of the greater area of exposed soil in the early years of establishment and the frequent use of fuel reduction burns.[3] S. cassioides should avoid soil disturbance by heavy silvilculture to conserve its presence in pine communities.[10]

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. Weakley, A.S. 2015. Flora of the southern and mid-atlantic states. Working Draf of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Crow, A. B. and C. L. Shilling. 1980. Use of prescribed burning to enhance southern pine timber production. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry 4:15-18.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Fitzgerald, C. H., R. C. Schultz, J. C. Fortson and S. Terrell. 1977. Effects of Seymeria cassioides infestation on pine seedling and sapling growth. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry 1:26-30.
  4. Musselman, Lytton J., and William F. Mann, Jr. "Root Parasites of Southern Forests." Southern Forest Experiment Station (1978).
  5. 5.0 5.1 Radford, Albert E., Harry E. Ahles, and C. Ritchie Bell. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. 1964, 1968. The University of North Carolina Press. 956. Print.
  6. Sorrie, B. A. and A. S. Weakley 2001. Coastal Plain valcular plant endemics: Phytogeographic patterns. Castanea 66: 50-82.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: July 2015. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, Wilson Baker, R. Komarek, Leon Neel, T. MacClendon, Boothes, Robert K. Godfrey. States and Counties: Florida: Franklin, Jackson, Liberty, Wakulla. Georgia: Thomas. Compiled by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.
  8. Kral 1983, USFWS 1992.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Musselman, Lytton J. "Parasitic Weeds in the Southern United States."Castanea 61.3 (1996): 271-92. Web.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Cohen, S., R. Braham, and F. Sanchez. (2004). Seed Bank Viability in Disturbed Longleaf Pine Sites. Restoration Ecology 12(4):503-515.
  11. Carr, S.C., K.M. Robertson, and R.K. Peet. 2010. A vegetation classification of fire-dependent pinelands of Florida. Castanea 75:153-189.
  12. Nelson, Gil. East Gulf Coastal Plain. a Field Guide to the Wildflowers of the East Gulf Coastal Plain, including Southwest Georgia, Northwest Florida, Southern Alabama, Southern Mississippi, and Parts of Southeastern Louisiana. Guilford, CT: Falcon, 2005. 196. Print.
  13. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 19 MAY 2021
  14. Kirkman, L. Katherine. Unpublished database of seed dispersal mode of plants found in Coastal Plain longleaf pine-grasslands of the Jones Ecological Research Center, Georgia.
  15. Stangle, Charles M., Lytton J. Musselman. (1961). "Some growth aspects of Seymeria cassioicies". Forest Service - Southern Forest Experiment Station - Research Note. USDA. SO-276:1-3.
  16. Wade, D. D. 1978. Seymeria infestation and prescribed burns. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry 2:20148-4419.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Grelen, H. E. and W. F. Mann. 1973. Distribution of Senna seymeria (Seymeria cassioides) a root parasite on southern pines. Economic Botany 27:339-342.