Sesbania is a genus of flowering plants in the pea family, Fabaceae, and the only genus found in tribe Sesbanieae. Riverhemp is a common name for plants in this genus.[2] Notable species include the rattlebox (Sesbania punicea), spiny sesbania (Sesbania bispinosa), and Sesbania sesban, which is used in cooking. Plants of this genus, some of which are aquatic, can be used in alley cropping to increase the soil's nitrogen content. The species of rhizobia responsible for nitrogen fixation in Sesbania rostrata is Azorhizobium caulinodans.

Sesbania drummondii
Scientific classification



See text.

  • Aeschynomene Schreb. 1770
  • Aeschynomene Jacq. 1792
  • Agati Adans.
  • Darwinia Raf.
  • Daubentonia DC.
  • Daubentoniopsis Rydb.
  • Glottidium Desv.
  • Sesban Adans. orth. var.

Some 60 species are currently accepted, with about 39 still unresolved. The largest number of species are found in Africa, and the remainder in Australia, Hawaii, and Asia.[3]

Fossil record

Fossil seed pods from upper Oligocene resembling Sesbania have been found in the Hungarian locality of Eger Wind-brickyard. The fossil species grew in a swampy and riparian environment.[4]

List of species

  • Sesbania benthamiana
  • Sesbania bispinosa (Jacq.) W.Wight
  • Sesbania brachycarpa
  • Sesbania brevipedunculata
  • Sesbania campylocarpa
  • Sesbania cannabina Poir.
  • Sesbania chippendalei
  • Sesbania cinerascens
  • Sesbania coerulescens
  • Sesbania concolor
  • Sesbania dalzielii
  • Sesbania drummondii (Rydb.) Cory
  • Sesbania dummeri
  • Sesbania emerus (Aubl.) Urban – coffeebean
  • Sesbania erubescens
  • Sesbania exasperata
  • Sesbania formosa
  • Sesbania goetzei
  • Sesbania grandiflora (L.) Poir.
  • Sesbania greenwayi
  • Sesbania hepperi
  • Sesbania herbacea (Mill.) McVaugh – bigpod sesbania
  • Sesbania hirtistyla
  • Sesbania hobdyi
  • Sesbania javanica
  • Sesbania keniensis
  • Sesbania leptocarpa
  • Sesbania longifolia
  • Sesbania macowaniana
  • Sesbania macrantha
  • Sesbania macroptera
  • Sesbania madagascariensis
  • Sesbania microphylla
  • Sesbania notialis
  • Sesbania oligosperma
  • Sesbania pachycarpa
  • Sesbania paucisemina
  • Sesbania punicea (Cav.) Benth. – rattlebox
  • Sesbania quadrata
  • Sesbania rostrata
  • Sesbania sericea (Willd.) Link – papagayo
  • Sesbania sesban (Jacq.) W.Wight – Egyptian riverhemp
  • Sesbania simpliciuscula
  • Sesbania somaliensis
  • Sesbania speciosa
  • Sesbania sphaerosperma
  • Sesbania subalata
  • Sesbania sudanica
  • Sesbania tetraptera
  • Sesbania tomentosa Hook. & Arn. – Ōhai (Hawaii)
  • Sesbania transvaalensis J.B.Gillett
  • Sesbania vesicaria (Jacq.) Elliott
  • Sesbania virgata (Cav.) Pers. – wand riverhemp[5][6]


  1. "Genus: Sesbania Scop". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2007-10-05. Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2011-03-01.
  2. "Sesbania". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  3. "The distribution of Sesbania species in the PANESA region".
  4. Distribution of Legumes in the Tertiary of Hungary by L. Hably, Advances in Legume Systematics: Part 4, The Fossil Record, Ed. P.S. Herendeen & Dilcher, 1992, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, ISBN 0 947643 40 0
  5. "GRIN Species Records of Sesbania". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2011-03-01.
  6. "Sesbania". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2011-03-01.
  • Data related to Sesbania at Wikispecies
  • Media related to Sesbania at Wikimedia Commons
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