Sesbania drummondii (Rydb.) Cory
Rattlebush, Rattlebox, Poisonbean
Fabaceae (Pea Family)
Synonym(s): Daubentonia drummondii
USDA Symbol: SEDR
The rattlebush is a rank-growing, woody plant 2-10 feet tall. It has many branches in the upper part, well separated, with few leaves, giving it a rather spare appearance. Bark smooth, green to light brown. Leaves are alternate, 4-8 inches long on a short stem. They are divided into 20-50 leaflets, 1/2-l 1/2 inches long and about 1/4 inch wide with no terminal leaflet. Flowers about 1/2 inch long, yellow, often streaked with red hang in clusters about 2 inches long, on a threadlike stem about the same length. Each flower has 5 petals, the top petal being longer than the others and standing erect. When the seeds mature they are loose in the pod and rattle when shaken, suggesting the name "rattlebush".
The species name of this plant is named for Thomas Drummond, (ca. 1790-1835), naturalist, born in Scotland, around 1790. In 1830 he made a trip to America to collect specimens from the western and southern United States. In March, 1833, he arrived at Velasco, Texas to begin his collecting work in that area. He spent twenty-one months working the area between Galveston Island and the Edwards Plateau, especially along the Brazos, Colorado, and Guadalupe rivers. His collections were the first made in Texas that were extensively distributed among the museums and scientific institutions of the world. He collected 750 species of plants and 150 specimens of birds. Drummond had hoped to make a complete botanical survey of Texas, but he died in Havana, Cuba, in 1835, while making a collecting tour of that island.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Pinnate
Size Notes: Up to 8 feet tall.
Size Class: 6-12 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX
Stengl Biological Research Station - Smithville, TX
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0611 Collected May 30, 1992 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-801 Collected 2006-12-06 in Llano County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
BibliographyBibref 354 - Native & Naturalized Woody Plants of Austin & the Hill Country (1981) Lynch, D.
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Sesbania drummondii in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Sesbania drummondii in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Sesbania drummondii
MetadataRecord Modified: 2015-10-13
Research By: TWC Staff