Candle bush: declared pest

Page last updated: Monday, 11 May 2020 - 1:05pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Candle bush, bushcandle, emperor's candlesticks, ringwormshrub, ringwormbush, ringworm senna, empress-candle-plant, Christmas-candle, seven-golden-candlesticks, candlestick senna (Senna alatais a declared pest in Western Australia (WA). This article describes the nature of the plant with links to requirements land owners/occupiers must adhere to and pest control methods.

Form: shrub — perennial

Status: present in WA

Candle bush is native from Mexico. Often grown as an ornamental, it prefers open areas and sunligh. Usually form thickets and growing along roadsides, in old abandoned fields and weedy localities.This plant is particularly aggressive in areas where there is a high water table.


Coarse erect shrub to three to four metres tall, Pods and seeds can be distributed by water or animals. Can also sucker from roots.

Leaves: To about 50-80 centimetres long, with eight to 14 pairs of large leaflets (the distal ones largest), up to 17 centimetres long, ovate-oblong, obtuse, truncate, or even slightly notched at apex, short leaf stalks.

Flowers: An erect dense oblong spike, the large yellow flowers crowded and overlapping.

Fruits: Pod ripening black, straight, papery in texture, winged on the angles (2), up to 15-20 centimetres long and slightly over one centimetre wide.

Seeds: Numerous (to 60 per pod), flat.

Agricultural and economic impact

Mostly an environmental weed, can impede waterways. Suspected to be toxic to livestock.

Declared pest category

The Western Australian Organism List (WAOL) contains information on the area(s) in which this pest is declared and the control and keeping categories to which it has been assigned in Western Australia (WA). Search for candle bush in WAOL using the scientgific name Senna alata.

Requirements for land owners/occupiers and other persons

Requirements for land owners/occupiers and other persons if this pest is found can be sourced through the declared plant requirements link.

Search > detect > report

MyPestGuide™ Reporter
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(Select 'Send report to MyWeedWatcher' from menu)

Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
+61 (0)8 9368 3080

Control method

Control methods for this declared plant can be found through the candle bush control link.

Contact information

Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
+61 (0)8 9368 3080
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