Sesbania Sesban

Sesbania sesban
Leguminosae


Origin

Sesbania Sesban probably originated in Africa. It is found throughout tropical and subtropical parts of Africa, Asia and Australia in semi arid to subhumid regions.

Uses

S. sesban is used as fodder and for soil improvement. It is a fast growing leguminous multipurpose tree. The leaves and tender branches of sesban are high in protein (20-25% crude protein). It has high digestibility among ruminants. Feeding of Sesbania Sesban to chickens and rabbits and pigs is not recommended. Sesbania Sesban establishes quickly and grows rapidly. It can be scattered throughout a crop field to help increase yield. The wood is lightweight, but can be harvested for firewood and charcoal. The leaves and flowers are used in medicinal teas as an astringent.

Cultivation

S. sesban makes its best growth when receiving 500-2000 mm (19-78 in) of annual rainfall. It has been found growing at elevations up to 2000 m (6561 ft) Sesban is usually propagated by seed. It can be rooted from cuttings. Seed scarification by dipping seeds in water heated to below boiling for 30 seconds improves germination. Plants for fodder production can be planted 30-50 cm apart in rows 1 meter apart. Rhizobia inoculants may be necessary at planting. The species is known for its tolerance to waterlogging, flooding, salinity and alkaline conditions.

Harvesting and Seed Production

Sesbania Sesban should not be cut too low or too often. Leave 10-25% of foliage on the plants when cutting for fodder. The pods are usually 10-20 cm long with 40 seeds inside. Seeds are easily collected and saved. Sesban is short-lived and if under intensive cutting management may not last more than 3-5 years.

Pests and Diseases

Sesbania Sesban has been observed to die back after cuttings, which may be fungal caused. Leaf feeding insects may also be a problem.

References

 

Orwa C, Mutua A , Kindt R , Jamnadass R, Simons A. 2009. Agroforestree Database:a tree reference and selection guide version 4.0 (http://www.worldagroforestry.org/treedb/AFTPDFS/Sesbania_sesban.PDF )

http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/cropView?id=9722