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Dinesh Valke [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Rattlebush seed pods

Sesbania drummondii, known as poisonbean, rattlebox and rattlebush, is a medium-sized perennial shrub in the legume family Fabaceae. It is native to the southeastern United States, from Texas east to Florida.

The orange-yellow, pea-like flowers occur in a drooping raceme on a long stem. They are often found with red lining. The seed pods are four-sided, four-winged, and about 10 centimetres (3.9 in) long. The peas rattle inside, giving this plant its common name of Rattlebush. Inside the pods, the seeds are separated by transverse partitions.

The seeds are poisonous, containing the toxin sesbanimide.

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Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's <i>NatureScene</i>, which began its long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy's knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards. After retiring from SCETV, Rudy went on to become naturalist-in-residence at the University of South Carolina, Columbia. He hosted SC Public Radio's <i>NatureNotes</i> from 1999 until his death in 2023 at age 78.