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Scarlet Wistaria Tree, Rattle Box
Scientific Name: Sesbania punicea (Poir.) Hort. ex F. T. Hubb
Synonym: Piscidia ovalis, Piscidia ovalifolia, Sesbania tripetii, Daubentonia tripetii, Daubentonia punicea, Piscidia punicea
Family: Fabaceae
Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 7-9,12-16,18-23
USDA: 8b-11

Sun Exposure: Full sun

Origin: South America (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay)

Growth Habits: Small deciduous shrub, or occasionally tree, up to 14 feet tall (4 m); even-pinnate leaves, 4 to 8 inches long (10-20 cm), with 6 to 20 pairs of oblong, dark-green leaflets, 1 inch long (2.5 cm), ending by a minute pointed tip

Watering Needs: Moderate water, tolerates wet soils

Propagation: Seeds (need pre-treatment)


It is considered an invasive weed in California and Florida.
The species epithet "punicea" comes from the Latin for 'crimson', referring to the flower color.
Sesbania tripetii is here included in Sesbania punicea, it differed by drooping flower racemes and a yellow spot on the flower standard.

Blooming Habits:
Showy, coral to burnt orange, pea-like, flowers, 0.8 to 1.2 inches long (2-3 cm), in dense clusters, up to 10 inches long (25 cm), from late spring to early fall. The Scarlet Wistaria Tree can flower first year from seed.

Fruiting Habits:
Four-winged pods, 3 inches long (7.5 cm), 0.4 inch wide (1 cm), containing 4 to 10 small bean-like seeds, each loose in its own partitioned area. When the pods are dry, the tree will rattle when shaken.


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Desert-Tropicals is dedicated to provide gardening advice, gardening ideas, and information about flower of all kind for landscape and collections. We try to check carefully the identification of the plants on the illustrations as well as the other information from the page, but occasionally errors do occur. if you notice anything that needs to be changed please contact us. Thanks.

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