rattlebox Fabaceae Sesbania
punicea (Cav.) Benth.
|Leaf: Alternate, compound, 5 to 7 inches long, 7 to 16 pairs of small, elliptical leaflets (each 1 inch long), dark green above, paler below.
Flower: Very attractive orange-red pea-like flowers in hanging clusters appearing in late spring and early summer.
Fruit: Dark brown legume ending in a sharp point, 3 to 4 inches long with 4 conspicuous longitudinal wings, appear in early summer and ripen by fall.
Twig: Slender, green for an extended period but eventually hardening off and turning dark reddish brown, no obvious buds.
Bark: Grayish brown to reddish brown, numerous horizontal lenticels.
Form: A small tree with a spreading open crown reaching 6 to 8 feet in height. It often forms dense thickets.
Looks like: mimosa
- desert false indigo
| Additional Range Information:
Sesbania punicea is planted in the USDA
hardiness zones shown above and may seed
into the landscape. See
states reporting rattlebox.
| External Links:
USDA Plants Database
|© Copyright 2016, Virginia Tech|
Dept. of Forest Resources
and Environmental Conservation,
all rights reserved.
Photos and text by: John Seiler,
Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera,
and John Peterson