Sunday, October 09, 2011


This is Senna obtusifolia of the family Fabaceae:

S. obtusifolia is a native of the United States and is found throughout the eastern states as far north as Wisconsin and New York.  According to Wikipedia, this plant is most celebrated in China, where it has a long history in Chinese medicine as a laxative.  There is no mention of where or how it came by the name java-bean (it also bears the monikers coffeeweed and coffee pod).  I assume that may produce a tea similar in character to coffee, though with its use as a laxative in Chinese medicine, I will not be trying this any time soon.

This particular plant was found along state road 51, south of Opelika, AL in September of 2011.

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