The Scent of Popcorn in the Garden

Over the past five years, we’ve enjoyed growing the popcorn cassia (Cassia didymobotrya).  Also called popcorn senna and peanut butter plant, this tropical (native to Africa) thrives in our summer heat. This showy legume (Fabaceae) will get 20′ and taller in native ranges although for us, it will stretch up to 4-5′ in a season.  We usually plant them at 18″ tall and they will add another 3′-5′ in height depending on how the summer goes.  Adequate watering, decent soils and occasional fertilizer are all very helpful as well.  The photo above shows the beautiful blue green foliage of popcorn plant as well as the architectural blooms which attract both bees and butterflies.  The blooms are profuse in July and will continue well in to September and all the way until the first hard frost.  We donated a plant to a school garden (see below) and the kids seem to be enjoying the scent.  I think the flowers smell like buttered popcorn although others say they detect peanut butter…?  Regardless, rubbing the flowers and foliage will create an interesting sensory experience.  We plant about 50 of these each year and while we have dabbled with different ways of storing them over the winter, we have been unsuccessful.  It’s a fun plant to photograph as seen in these many images.

It was fairly cold out today with sub-zero wind chill temperatures this morning.  Larry H. braved the cold and headed out to retrieve more lights.  We had quite a crew inside with Marv, Terry and Urban processing lights and Dr. Gredler painting.  Vern, Dave, Jim, Ron Y. and Bob K. continued progress on their carpentry project which is significant.  Gary made some of our first new labels for 2015.   Del helped with some odds and ends and Bill O. came in to help Larry out later in the morning.  Pat R. and Pat C. helped Janice with some office work this morning and we also saw Rollie, Cheryl R. (new Director) and many others today.  I ordered seeds and continue to work on a wide range of projects.



Photo above Courtesy of Kris Koch