The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Monkey Pod / Eared Senna

Afrikaans name: Apiespeul

Leaves of the Eared Senna tree

Monkey Pod / Eared Senna tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

Senna petersiana

Nowadays the Monkey Pod tree goes under the boring name of Eared Senna! The former name sounds far more interesting, don't you think.

The Eared Senna is not a big tree. It normally reaches a height of 4 to 7 metres. In late summer and autumn this tree gets beautiful yellow flowers which stick up above the foliage. The seedpods are straight, or slightly curved, and can be up to 25 cm in length.

Various parts of this tree have been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments.

The Eared Senna has quite a widespread distribution in Africa. In South Africa it is only found in the north-eastern parts of KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces. It is normally found along watercourses.

Branches of the Monkey Pod

Multiple stems

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

SA Wild Flower Guide No 4 - Transvaal Lowveld - Author: Jo Onderstall - Published: 1984 - Page: 106

The Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei - Author: Elsa Pooley - Published: 1994 - Page: 154

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Published: 2002 - Page: 341


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