Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Rattlebox, Scarlet Wisteria, False Poinciana, Purple Sesbane
Sesbania punicea

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Sesbania (ses-BAN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: punicea (pun-IK-ee-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Sesbania tripetii
Synonym:Daubentonia punicea
Synonym:Daubentonia tripetii

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

37 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens
May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Click thumbnail
to view:

By ford3728
Thumbnail #1 of Sesbania punicea by ford3728

By Clare_CA
Thumbnail #2 of Sesbania punicea by Clare_CA

By Clare_CA
Thumbnail #3 of Sesbania punicea by Clare_CA

By Clare_CA
Thumbnail #4 of Sesbania punicea by Clare_CA

By Clare_CA
Thumbnail #5 of Sesbania punicea by Clare_CA

By Clare_CA
Thumbnail #6 of Sesbania punicea by Clare_CA

By Clare_CA
Thumbnail #7 of Sesbania punicea by Clare_CA

There are a total of 28 photos.
Click here to view them all!


4 positives
4 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive J0ZEPH On May 13, 2013, J0ZEPH from Bishopville, MD wrote:

My rattleboxes have been growing in Bishopville, MD for the last 5 years on the south side of my house. There are 4 of them ranging from 7' to 15'. A bad winter can kill them to the ground, but they are root hardy and will easily reach ten feet in a single summer and bloom all the while. I've read the information regarding their invasive tendency in the south and out west, but here it doesn't seem to be an issue since I live on the threshold of its hardiness range. I think any seedling that strays too far from a protected area wouldn't survive the winter. Having said that, the hummingbirds and I can enjoy the flower production all summer without worrying it will jump the fence.

Neutral CincoBayou On Nov 29, 2010, CincoBayou from Fort Walton Beach, FL wrote:

It is a fascinating plant especially in fall/winter with the plentiful dangling seed pods hanging from the tree/bush. From what I have read, seeds are poisonous and it is an invasive plant in Florida wetlands.

Neutral frostweed On Dec 27, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Rattlebox, Scarlet Wisteria, False Poinciana, Purple Sesbane Sesbania punicea is naturalized in Texas and other States and is considered an invasive plant in Texas.

Positive trois On Sep 2, 2005, trois from Santa Fe, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

A beautiful plant that grows by the thousands in abondoned fields. It grows especially well in coastal swamps, marshes and wetlands.

Positive tylnan On Jun 4, 2005, tylnan from Buna, TX wrote:

I have had this plant growing in my Zone 9 area for over 20 years. I never knew until finding this website what the actual name of the plant was. Several years ago all of my small plants were mowed down in error and I went across the road into the woods to find that there were hundreds of plants there where the seeds were taken by the birds or the wind. I transplanted them back into my yard again and they have been there ever since.

Negative jcangemi On Aug 12, 2004, jcangemi from Clovis, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant is an extremely invasive plant in California, threatening native vegetation and waterways. All parts of it are poisonous to mammals, birds and reptiles. Each plant can produce thousands of seeds during summer and fall, which have a high germination rate in moist soils, hence the problem along waterways. Also called 'red sesbania'.

Neutral htop On Jan 22, 2004, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Seeds are highly toxic. Symptoms include the following: abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, weakness, depression, respiratory failure ... MAY BE FATAL.

Neutral MotherNature4 On Sep 21, 2003, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant is invasive in South and Central Florida. Though it is quite beautiful, if grown in the yard you should remove the seed pods to keep it from self-propagation and to continue blooms.

Positive barryw On Aug 31, 2002, barryw from Cayce, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

I've had this small tree in my zone 8 garden for 4 years. It has grown quickly and flowers most profusely in mid spring. If seed pods are removed it will flower profusely again. If not removed, tree will flower sporadically until frost. A most beautiful small tree not seen much in zone 8 (at least in my area). I highly recomend the tree for any subtropical garden.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Gulf Shores, Alabama
Ashdown, Arkansas
Clovis, California
Huntington Beach, California
San Leandro, California
Tulare, California
Windsor, California
Bartow, Florida
Bradley, Florida
Campbell, Florida
Center Hill, Florida
Cheval, Florida
Cinco Bayou, Florida
Fruitland Park, Florida
Gainesville, Florida (2 reports)
Jacksonville, Florida
Juno Beach, Florida
Miami, Florida
Middleburg, Florida
Mulberry, Florida
Palm Bay, Florida
Palm Beach Shores, Florida
Palm Coast, Florida
Panama City Beach, Florida
Paradise Heights, Florida
St Augustine, Florida
Tallahassee, Florida
Utopia, Florida
Dasher, Georgia
Flemington, Georgia
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Brownsville-bawcomville, Louisiana
Folsom, Louisiana
Greenwell Springs, Louisiana
Homer, Louisiana
Zachary, Louisiana
Bishopville, Maryland
Latimer, Mississippi
Learned, Mississippi
Madison, Mississippi
West Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Hatteras, North Carolina
Conway, South Carolina
Lexington, South Carolina
Oakland, South Carolina
Austin, Texas
Baytown, Texas
Beaumont, Texas (2 reports)
Huntington, Texas
Iredell, Texas
La Vernia, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)
Santa Fe, Texas

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2014 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America