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Useful Tropical Plants

Sesbania tomentosa

Hook. & Arn.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Agati tomentosa (Hook. & Arn.) Nutt. ex A.Gray

Sesbania molokaiensis (O.Deg. & Sherff) O.Deg. & I.Deg.

Sesbania arborea O.Deg. & I.Deg.

Sesbania hawaiiensis O.Deg. & I.Deg.

Common Name: Ohai

No Image.

General Information

Sesbania tomentosa is a variable species .Usually a low, spreading shrub with horizontal or arching branches that can be more than 14 metres long, it can also adopt an erect, tree-like habit, growing 2.5 - 6 metres tall. In the wild, a single, prostrate plant can cover an area of many square metres, but in cultivation it will tend to be under 3 metres in diameter[
399
Title
Hawaiian Native Plant Propagation Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://pdcs.ctahr.hawaii.edu:591/hawnprop/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the propagation of a wide range of Hawaiian plants.
,
400
Title
Hawaii Biodiversity and Mapping Programme
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://hbmp.hawaii.edu/hbmp/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of fact sheets on some of the more threatened species of plant and animal life on the islands of Hawaii. Over 1,300 soecies, about half of which are plants!
].
The plant is an exellent ground cover and soil stabilizer in coastal areas and can also be grown as a hedge. The large striking flowers make this species suitable for ornamental use, especially in maritime conditionst[
350
Title
National Tropical Botanical Garden
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ntbg.org/plants/choose_a_plant.php
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
General information on almost 400 species, with descriptions, habitats and some uses.
].
Sesbania tomentosa used to to be widespread in dry areas at elevations below 750 metres on all of the main islands of Hawaii. However, destruction of these habitats by means such as off-road vehicles, habitat disturbance, residential development in coastal areas, cattle & goats, has greatly diminished its natural occurrence within its former range. The plant is classified as 'Endangered' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species[
399
Title
Hawaiian Native Plant Propagation Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://pdcs.ctahr.hawaii.edu:591/hawnprop/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the propagation of a wide range of Hawaiian plants.
,
400
Title
Hawaii Biodiversity and Mapping Programme
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://hbmp.hawaii.edu/hbmp/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of fact sheets on some of the more threatened species of plant and animal life on the islands of Hawaii. Over 1,300 soecies, about half of which are plants!
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

North-central Pacific - Hawaii

Habitat

Calcareous and sandy beaches, dunes, soil pockets on lava, rocky ridges and slopes, along pond margins, dry shrublands or (rarely) dry forests, on basaltic and calcareous substrates; at elevations up to 540 metres[
350
Title
National Tropical Botanical Garden
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ntbg.org/plants/choose_a_plant.php
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
General information on almost 400 species, with descriptions, habitats and some uses.
,
400
Title
Hawaii Biodiversity and Mapping Programme
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://hbmp.hawaii.edu/hbmp/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of fact sheets on some of the more threatened species of plant and animal life on the islands of Hawaii. Over 1,300 soecies, about half of which are plants!
,
436
Title
Native Plants Hawaii
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website containing information on a range of native Hawaiian plants, with descriptions, habitat, traditional uses etc.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Conservation StatusEndangered
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitShrub
Height1.00 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsBees
Self-fertileYes
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details


Prefers a sunny position and a well-drained, light-textured soil[
436
Title
Native Plants Hawaii
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website containing information on a range of native Hawaiian plants, with descriptions, habitat, traditional uses etc.
]. A xeric plant, growing best in dry conditions and generally tolerant of strong winds and salt spray[
436
Title
Native Plants Hawaii
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website containing information on a range of native Hawaiian plants, with descriptions, habitat, traditional uses etc.
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
436
Title
Native Plants Hawaii
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website containing information on a range of native Hawaiian plants, with descriptions, habitat, traditional uses etc.
].
This species is endemic to Hawaii, where it is endangered, but it has also become established as an escape from cultivation in Puerto Rico and reportedly elsewhere in the tropics[
400
Title
Hawaii Biodiversity and Mapping Programme
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://hbmp.hawaii.edu/hbmp/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of fact sheets on some of the more threatened species of plant and animal life on the islands of Hawaii. Over 1,300 soecies, about half of which are plants!
]
Tree or tall bush forms with top heavy growth may need to be staked in order to prevent them toppling over due to the wind, especially if they are grown in softer (i.e. loamy, sandy) soils. Too much water and fertilizer (especially with extra nitrogen) may be the culprits for this luxuriant growth[
436
Title
Native Plants Hawaii
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website containing information on a range of native Hawaiian plants, with descriptions, habitat, traditional uses etc.
].
On sunny days the leaf clusters at the stem tips have a fragrance that resembles the scent of nectarines[
436
Title
Native Plants Hawaii
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website containing information on a range of native Hawaiian plants, with descriptions, habitat, traditional uses etc.
].
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

None known

Agroforestry Uses:

All species in this genus have potential for use as soil-improving ground cover plants that can greatly reduce soil erosion[
1309
Title
The Leguminosae; A Source Book of Characteristics, Uses and Nodulation
Publication
 
Author
Allen O.N.; Allen E.K.
Publisher
University of Wisconsin
Year
1981
ISBN
0-333-32221-5
Description
An amazing and comprehensive work, giving a brief guide to the many genera of the family Fabaceae and also the principle uses of the genus.
].
Prostrate forms of this species can be used as a groundcover, and are particularly effective in preventing erosion in many coastal areas[
436
Title
Native Plants Hawaii
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website containing information on a range of native Hawaiian plants, with descriptions, habitat, traditional uses etc.
,
1309
Title
The Leguminosae; A Source Book of Characteristics, Uses and Nodulation
Publication
 
Author
Allen O.N.; Allen E.K.
Publisher
University of Wisconsin
Year
1981
ISBN
0-333-32221-5
Description
An amazing and comprehensive work, giving a brief guide to the many genera of the family Fabaceae and also the principle uses of the genus.
].
Shrubby forms can be grown as hedges, whilst tree forms can make a tall hedge or a screen[
436
Title
Native Plants Hawaii
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website containing information on a range of native Hawaiian plants, with descriptions, habitat, traditional uses etc.
].

Other Uses

The flowers and seeds are used in crafting beautiful Hawaiian leis[
350
Title
National Tropical Botanical Garden
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ntbg.org/plants/choose_a_plant.php
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
General information on almost 400 species, with descriptions, habitats and some uses.
].

Propagation

Seed - it has a hard seedcoat and may benefit from scarification before sowing to speed up germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing.
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-07-18. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Sesbania+tomentosa>

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