Sesbania herbacea

Sesbania herbacea (Mill.) McVaugh

Synonym: Sesbania emerus

Common Names: Smooth Sesban

Family: Fabaceae

Habit: Sesbania herbacea grows as a glabrous shrub to 3 m in height. The evenly pinnately compound leaves are arranged alternately, to 25 cm in length with lanceolate stipules. The leaflets are in 10-20 pairs, each 10-15 cm in length, oblong, with a mucronate leaf apex, an entire margin, and an obtuse base. 

The complete, perfect, zygomorphic flowers are arranged in tight, axillary racemes.  With each flower subtended by a bract. The calyx has 5 green, unfused, oblong sepals. The corolla has 5 yellow unfused petals, the upper banner often with purple dots and the lower two forming a small keel.  There are 10 (9+1) stamens. The ovary is superior and forms an elongate, linear, brown, legume at maturity.

Habitat: Sesbania herbacea grows in wet low-lying areas and edges of ponds in Human Altered environments.

Distribution: Sesbania herbacea is grows throughout the Lucayan Archipelago but is more prevalent in the northern islands. It is native to Central and South America and the general Caribbean region.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Sesbania herbacea is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.