Danglepod or Bigpod?

Danglepod (Sesbania herbacea) is a weedy, but native, annual legume that can swiftly grow to be +10′ tall, especially where wet conditions prevail.  Bigpod sestina, coffeeweed, tall indigo, peatree, and Colorado River hemp are among some of the common names given to the plant that ranges from south America through parts of the U.S. to Canada.

We saw a good bit of it at the Sebastian Stormwater Preserve on 8-8-2020, sometimes growing as a single plant and sometimes in big clumps providing a temporary privacy “screen” to an adjacent home in the photo below …

Tiny yellow pea-type flowers that attract pollinators are borne in the leaf axils (where the compound leaf joins the stem).  Flowering occurs in the summer and the fall.  Each leaf can have 20 – 70 leaflets.  At the bottom of the  photo above you see a bit of a green pod.

Each long pod contains 30 – 40 very viable seeds, and a ripe pod is shown below.

Pod production can be prolific, as seen below in a photo taken on the ORCA link property in 2008 after it was irrigated with $20,000 of potable water by the irresponsible contractor hired by Indian River County for a restoration project.

Earlier that year this fast-growing annual was filling every inch of available space …

… and soon it would flower and produce the dangling pods that give rise to the common names danglepod and bipod sesbania …

You also will find this native but weedy annual growing where conditions are not wet, just not as wildly.  Take care if this plant arrives in your landscape.

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