Bladder-senna - Colutea arborescens


A much branched shrub from 2 to 4 metres in height. Leaves are pinnate with 4 or 5 pairs of oval leaflets. Flowers yellow, pea like, sometimes marked with red. 16 to 20 mm long in short lateral racemes. Pods very inflated bladders, 5 to 7 cm, brown and papery when ripe.

Identification difficulty

Dry slopes, roadside and railway banks and verges.

When to see it

It is in flower from June to August, and the seeds ripen from September to October.

Life History

Deciduous shrub. The leaves and seeds have purgative properties.

UK Status

Scattered localities mainly in the south of Britain.

VC55 Status

Rare in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 4 of the 617 tetrads.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map