Bigpod sesbania (Sesbania herbacea)

Bigpod sesbania Synonyms: Aeschynomene emerus, Darwinia exaltata, Sesban emerus, Sesban exaltatus, Sesbania emerus, Sesbania exaltata, Sesbania macrocarpa

Common Names: Colorado River hemp, hemp sesbania, peatree, sesbania, tall indigo, coffee bean

Description: This plant is toxic to livestock. Grown primarily as a soil-improving crop.

Habit: Erect, large, semi-woody, herbaceous perennial that can reach heights of 3-10 feet tall.

Leaves: Bright green in color, alternate, 30 cm long, even-pinnately compound, 20-70 opposite arranged leaflets. Leaflets are 0.75-2.5 cm long, smooth margins and with a pointed tip. Somewhat hairy or waxy below.

Stems: Glabrous, few, green in color, semi-woody, growing 3-10 feet tall.

Flowers: 2-6 stalked, bell-shaped flowers, borne in a 2-8 cm elongated inflorescence from the leaf axil. Yellow to yellowish-orange in color with purple spots or streaks. Tubular, 3-4 mm long, 4-5 mm wide, pea-like, upper petal is 1.5 cm long.

Fruit and seeds: Linear seedpod, 10-20 cm long, 3-4 mm wide, smooth, jointed, 4-sided, tipped with a small beak. Contains 30-40 seeds that are mottled with orange, green or brown colors.

Habitat: Native to the United States but considered a noxious weed in some states. Can be found in ditches, disturbed sites, railroads, river banks and roadsides.

Reproduction: By seed.

Monitoring and rapid response: Once it is about 12 cm tall, post emergent herbicide are ineffective. Tolerant of high mowing, can be controlled by cultivation.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the United States Department of Agriculture Plant Guide.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the network ( photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (

Common Name:

Bigpod sesbania

Scientific Name:

Sesbania herbacea




Annual, Perennial



USDA Symbol: