BC 120x600 Mar2020

Pest Information

Coffee Senna

Coffee Senna

  • Latin Name: Senna Occidentalis
  • Common Name: Coffee Senna
  • Other Names: Septic weed, stinking weed, miki palaoa (Hawaii)

Pest Details

Coffee Senna
Coffee Senna
Coffee Senna


Native to Latin America, but introduced to the United States. It is present throughout the southeastern states from Texas north to Iowa, east to Virginia and south to Florida. It is also present in Hawaii.


An annual or a perennial depending on the climate in which it is growing. Reproduction is from seeds. The foliage and the seeds may be poisonous to livestock that graze on the plant, and it commonly can be found in pastures and rangelands, as well as in other disturbed sites.


Mature plants are usually less than 3 feet in height, with a single stem or sometimes multiple and branching stems. The large leaves are compound, divided into 8 large leaflets that are lance-shaped and have smooth margins. The flowers are large and yellow, occurring in short clusters along the growing ends of the stems, with only a few opening at any time and with the seed pods developing along the stem below them. The seed pods are up to 6 inches long, narrow and flat, and generally smooth or slightly hairy.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

Physical removal of individual plants may be effective, or a systemic herbicide may be used to kill larger infestations.

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