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Fabaceae herb ID 26/9/2012 SK:

I thought it was SHOLAPITH (Aeschynomene), i have been told so by local residents, but leaflets are much bigger. I attach pictures of four individuals, and also two old records of the same plant.
Species : UNKNOWN
Habit & Habitat : wild under-shrub in ditches and flooded lowland at village outskirts, 5 feet or more tall
Date : 18/8/12 & 25/9/10 (old, with flowers)
Place : Khanpur (Hooghly)

This one also looks like Sesbania bisphinosa.

I also thought that it might be a Sesbania species, specially, Sesbania cannabina (Retz.) Pers. (or DHONCHE in Bengali), more so because DHONCHE is cultivated in many places in Hooghly, including that particular place and in this very rainy season.
Yesterday, i worked for almost 2 hrs. just to understand what does mucronate or truncate or apiculate or obliquely rounded leaf mean. I paste below my homework!

Description = Sesbania cannabina (Retz.) Poir. =
The above homework led me to Aeschynomene species. Only leaflet size doesn’t match.
Now, as i read the description of Sesbania bispinosa at FoP ( the same size problem arises, leaflet in this species measures at about 4 cm x more than 7 mm.

…, can we get nearer to some flowers at whatever best focus – by cropping original pictures (old_VSCN6223.jpg OR old_VSCN6225.jpg) ?
Hopefully some time later, you may even get to capture the seedpods — may give us good lead.
My thought is – some species of Aeschynomene.

I wish to visit the place as soon as possible and take pics of flowers and pods, if available.
Also i will search my old archives for the original copies of those cropped pics i attached. I hope i didn’t delete the originals, what i often do to save my hard-disk space.

This plants, be several individuals of the same species or belong to two different taxa, are neither Aeschynomene aspera nor A. indica, nor even A. americana. Leaflets and pods are much bigger here. Moreover, pods are long, as can be seen in the attached picture 1024x_old_VSCN6225_25sept2010,jpg.
For the very leaflet size we can discard S. sesban (all varieties), S. bispinosa.
Sesbania concolor in FoP = leaflet 1-3 cm x 3-8 mm =
Sesbania cannabina in FoC = leaflet 8-20(-40) × 2.5-4(-7) =
It appears to me that it is a Sesbania species, maybe Sesbania cannabina (Retz.) Pers. According to FoC, “….Stems green or sometimes brown, smooth, with inconspicuous light greenish stripes…” and the same feature can be seen in my original upload pic – plant3_DSCN8793.jpg. But, at the same time i fail to explain prickles in pic – plant1_DSCN8730.jpg.

This is turning interesting. First make sure that all photographs belong to the same plant/population. Obviously 3730 and 3797 don’t belong to the same plant.

Your 6225 excludes the possibility of Aeschynomene, as pods are clearly of Sesbania.
Your first photograph 8735 raises the biggest doubt. the leaflet shown starts from 5.6 cm and extends to about 9.8, a length of about 4.2 cm. same image at number 8 where whole width of leaf is shown the scale covering pair of leaflets. It starts from 5.6 and extends up to slightly less than 15. Taking into account the width of rachis the length comes to around 4.2-4.3 cm.
The number of leaflets in few leaves that I could count seems to be 21-23 pairs.
This strictly does not fit any species known in our Floras, although S. sesban with up to 25 pairs or so seems closest. The leaflet size in S. cannabinus is 8-20 mm, S. bispinosa 10-16 mm, and S. sesban 13-25 mm, again last being the closest.
Please analyse your specimens keeping these in mind.

I explain the images in groups of 4, excluding the old records.
All images, except the old ones, were recorded on the same day and along roadside covering a distance of 200 meters or so.
group1 : pics nos. = 8735, 8739, plant1_DSCN8730, plant1_DSCN8734, plant1_DSCN8735
The above pictures are taken between 2:22:31 p.m. to 2:25:50 p.m., so i think all images come from a single plant.
group2 : pic no. = plant2_DSCN8758 was recorded at 2:45:04 p.m., so i think it comes from a second plant.
group3 : pics nos. = plant3_DSCN8792, plant3_DSCN8793, = recorded between 3:03:46 to 3:04:07 p.m., i think from a third plant
group4 : pic no. = plant4_DSCN8817 was taken at 3:16:07 p.m., probably from a population at another location in the vicinity.
However, according to FoC, leaflets of S. cannabina can attain a length of 40mm, i copy here a line – “leaflet blades oppo­site or subopposite, linear-oblong, 8-20(-40) × 2.5-4(-7) mm, smaller at both ends of rachis than in middle” =
But, all said and done, i am very much ashamed to make it so confusing, I will try to revisit the place today and make new post or posts, whichever is applicable, with new records of those plants.

I visited the place and recorded fresh images of plants scattered in an area covering only 50 meter or less.
  1. All my previous pictures, including those old flowered ones and with pods, come from same species.
  2. This plant is locally known as KATHSHOLA (where KATH = wood or woody), it is entirely wild species
  3. DHONCHE, a cultivated species used as green manure, is also growing nearby areas. My previous uploads of DHONCHE is at –
  4. I do not know scientific names of both the species, but they are surely either different species or varieties or cultivars or whatever botany has in store for such plants
  5. KATHSHOLA is branched shrub growing in submerged lowlands, in small ponds, ditches and even on roadside
  6. The overall appearance of DHONCHE is rather Jute Plant like , a slender herb
Species Features :
  • The plant grows vigorously in submerged land, while they are weak on relatively drier place (roadside plants are weak, 3-4 feet, slender, but, those at the edges of ponds and in submerged unused lands do attain a height of more than 8 feet above water surface)
  • The stem is prickly at lower or base and without prickle in the upper region+branches
  • The diameter of the stem at base region is that of a mature sugarcane
  • adventitious roots emerge from base region and can be seen just above the water surface
  • rachis and leaflets length varies according to plant health, maturity, and growing area on the stems. The leaves and leaflets at lower part is bigger than upper part of the stems
Searched for KATHSHOLA :
Thanks Surajit ji for excellent analysis.

Your first photograph seems to be settling the issue. I can count about 25 pairs of leaflets in one of the leaves. There don’t seem any prickles, and most important standard is wider than long. This seems to be confirming your ID S. cannabina.
You may focus on underside of some young leaves to check for pubescence.

I was searching all my 100+ pics i recorded today. I have no picture of the underside of young leaves.
Since the place is about 2 km from my school i will surely check for pubescence on the underside of the young leaves.
One problem still remains, if it is S. cannabina then what could be the ID of DHONCHE plant.
I will try to get more data on DHONCHE and pubescence of this plant by the end of coming week.

Your DHONCHE plant on the website (link below) has about 12-14 pairs of leaflets and standard much broader than long. That perfectly fits S. sesban
Now, as you have pointed out i notice the standard of the DHONCHE flower is much broader.
I couldn’t reach those DHONCHE plants because of waterlogging. One of my students went to that waterlogged filed and collected a flowering twig for me.

Received an ID suggestion, Sesbania sesban var. picta. I copy paste the ID keys below-
This is looking like Sesbania sesban var. picta

leaflets 40-50 mm long, c. 3-5 mm wide, linear-oblong, obtuse, apiculate, glabrous; stipules c. 5-7 mm long. Inflorescence an axillary raceme; 12-20-flowered, up to 15 cm long. Bract and bracteoles up to 3 mm long, caducous. Pedicel up to 12 mm long, Calyx glabrous, except the margin, c. 5 mm long, teeth c. 1 mm or less, broadly triangular. Corolla yellow, tinged with or spotted purple.

I attach a bigger picture where flowers have spotted corolla.

Though some flowers are spotted majority of them seem to be not spotted. Attaching more flower pictures.

I copy an entry from “Bengal Plants” by David Prain (Vol.1, page 402 onward), an ebook downloaded from the net =
Pods twisted, pendulous; flowers .5 in. or more long; stems and branches unarmed :-
Perennial, stems woody; flowers .6 in.; pods 6 in, long, sutures undulate and valves widely depressed between the seeds; small trees:-
Flowers uniformly yellow…… aegyptiaca
Flowers more or less coloured:-
Standard externally dotted with purple …. aegyptiaca var. picta
Standard externally dark maroon or purple ….. aegyptiaca var, bicolor
Annual, stems pith like; flowers .75 in.; pods 10-12 in. long, sutures straight, valves slightly abruptly depressed between the seeds; a swamp species with tree-like stems ……. paludosa
Pods not twisted, erect or ascending (except sometimes in S. cannabina);
another entry from the same book reads-
539/2. Var. PICTA Prain. S. aegyptiaca F. B. I. ii. 114 partly.
Cultivated fairly commonly.
A small tree.
540. SESBANIA PALUDOSA Prain. S. aculeata var. paludosa F. B. I. ii. 115 partly. Aeschynomene paludosa F. I. iii. 333. E. D. S. 1164.
Central and Eastern Bengal, in jheels; common.
A tall marsh plant with tree-like stems. Beng. Kath-sola
Again, i copy entries from “An English Index to The Plants of India” by Piddington, another e-book downloaded from the net-
grandiflora, (white and red) = BOK-PHOOL (in Bengali)
Sesban, (yellow and purple) ………….
paludosa = SHOLA; SOLA; Kath-Shola.
cannabina = DHUNCHA.
page 207 & 209 of the same book reads-
Shola; Sola = Aeschynomene paludosa
Entries from yet another e-book, “HORTUS SUBURBANUS CALCUTTENSIS” (A Catalogue of The Plants which have been cultivated in the Hon. East India Company’s Botanical Garden, Calcutta, and in the Serampore Botanical Garden….) by Voigt.
page 216=
Sesbania aegyptiaca Pers. ……….. JUYUNTEE (in Bengali)………. cultivated and extensively used………..
Since, these books can be downloaded freely from the net i hope they are not copyrighted and i attach screenshots from those books

I think this species is Sesbania paludosa Prain, a synonym of S. javanica Miq. as per The Plant List. This is a shrub, not herb as i have mentioned before, the stem can attain a diameter of a bamboo culm. This is purely wild species.
Biodiversity Library has some old accounts of S. javanica
Attaching a page from an ebook that mentions a plant, S. paludosa Roxb., available at –
Also attaching two more images.




Sesbania cannabina (Retz.) Pers. from Hooghly:

This plant is known as DHONCHE in Bengali, a herb often cultivated during this time, to be used as organic manure, later, when they are cut and left on the field itself.
Species : Sesbania cannabina (Retz.) Pers.
Habit & Habitat : cultivated herb, about 6 feet or more
Date : 20/9/12, 12.40 p.m.
Place : Garalgacha (Hooghly)
sites visited :

Received an ID suggestion, Sesbania roxburghii Merr., synonym of S. javanica Miq., as per The Plant List.
So, i need to take some more photographs of its leaves and pods and also record sizes. I would try to do that. Meanwhile, attaching a photo of its leaves, though very bad quality and out of focus.
However, the pictures at shows leaflets of S. roxburghii Merr. have acute (acuminate?) tips

If I am not wrong, this plant in North India is called Dhencha and is used as green manure arround Sept.-Oct.

Thank you …, i haven’t revisited this plant yet.

Attaching two old photographs of DHONCHE plant, recorded on 24/7/2009

I attach screenshots of pages of the following e-books, downloaded from the net –
1) “Bengal Plants” by David Prain
2) “An English Index to The Plants of India” by Piddington
3) “HORTUS SUBURBANUS CALCUTTENSIS” (A Catalogue of The Plants which have been cultivated in the Hon. East India Company’s Botanical Garden, Calcutta, and in the Serampore Botanical Garden….) by Voigt.

I am extremely ashamed for inconveniences i made to all. I revisited the plant in this post today and attach fresh photographs.
It is quite possible that this plant is not DHONCHE or DHUNCHI plant i claimed before. And it may not be cultivated at all.
Please ignore all my earlier uploads in this thread.
This plant is very similar to KATH-SHOLA, in my another post (, except that this plant is slimmer and without branches.
This is the most confusing of my recent posts of three Sesbania plant. It is quite possible that this plant population consists of two different species growing side by side. But, one point is to be noted – all members of this population are slender unbranched herb having very similar features.
Is it Sesbania sesban?
Is it Sesbania cannabina?
Is it Sesbania javanica?
I attach five pages of an ebook, describing Sesbania sesban, downloaded from –

I think Sesbania javanica Miq. as per Fabaceae herb ID 26/9/2012 SK




Fabaceae again ID (Hooghly) 6/10/12 SK: Found this herb (?) on roadside.

Species : UNKNOWN
Habit & Habitat : wild herb (?) roadside, stem hollow, pods are yet to grow
Date : 5/10/12, 2.18 p.m.
Place : Khanpur (Hooghly)

I feel this Sesbania sp. – a Fabaceae member.

Visited the place again to find its pod, but the plant is there no more, removed by regular clearing of weeds by village Panchayat.

I think Sesbania javanica Miq. as per images herein.

Images by tspkumar

TSPNOV2015-37: Images of Sesbania punicea (Fabaceae) : 1 post by 1 author.

It is my pleasure to share few images of Sesbania punicea (Fabaceae)
Habit: Large shrub
Habitat: Wild, possibly an escape.
Sighting: Kuppalu, Kadur, Chikmagalur, Karnataka, about 800 msl
Date: 07-06-2015 and 23-08-2015

Fruits of Sesbania punicea look different at
Further, it has no distribution in India as per ILDIS
To me it appears close to images at Sesbania javanica Miq.
Pl. confirm or otherwise.

This is again from the same locality as my previous post..
the flower colour is light yellow in this case..
I hope this too is Sesbania sesban

It appears to be Sesbania punicea (Cav.) Benth. as per images herein.

Fruits of Sesbania punicea look different at
Further, it has no distribution in India as per ILDIS
To me it appears close to images at Sesbania javanica Miq.
Pl. confirm or otherwise.

This tall legume was recorded from a village in Panipat..
I hope this is Sesbania sesban ..

with orange flowers. its new to me. does it have such variations in color? i wonder

It appears to be Sesbania punicea (Cav.) Benth. as per images herein.

Fruits of Sesbania punicea look different at
Further, it has no distribution in India as per ILDIS
To me it appears close to images at Sesbania javanica Miq.
Pl. confirm or otherwise.