Red sesbania

Red sesbania

Sesbania punicea (Fabaceae)

Common Name:

Red sesbania

Scientific Name:

Sesbania punicea (Fabaceae)

Alternative common names:

Brazilian glory pea, coffee weed, rattlepod, tango (English), Rooisesbania, Brasiliaanse glorie-ertjie (Afrikaans)


A deciduous shrub or small tree up to 4m high with many slender branches. Drooping, dark green leaves with oblong leaflets that end in tiny, pointed tips. Showy red or orange flowers in dense sprays up to 25cm long from September to March. Brown, four-winged pods 6-8cm long and 10mm wide. Seeds, leaves and flower are poisonous.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

South America

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

Existing legislation: CARA 2002 - Category 1 NEMBA - Category 1b

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

It is found in all provinces in South Africa

How does it spread?

Seed dispersal

Why is it a problem?

Competes with and replaces indigenous riverine and wetland species. Poisonous, especially the seeds, which are lethal to birds, mammals and reptiles

What does it look like?

General description: A deciduous shrub or small tree growing up to 4m in height and has numerous slender branches.
Leaves: Dark green, drooping, 100-200mm long, paired leaflets.
Flowers: Red or orange flowers appear in dense sprays up to 25cm long from September to March.
Fruit/seeds: Distinctive four-winged oblong brown pods 60-80mm long

Does the plant have any uses?


Leave a Reply