Field Guide   arr  Weed Management   arr  Sicklepod

Sicklepod (Senna obtusifolia)

Crop Impacts: Patures

Sicklepod 1


About Sicklepod:

Sicklepod is a weed that is native to southern and eastern USA and tropical America. It can be a perennial or annual woody shrub. If not managed properly, it can become a difficult weed to control. One infestation of the shrub can produce up to 10,000 seeds and after a seed is released it can remain viable up to 10 years. It can become extremely fatal to crops if left to grow through 2 to 3 growing seasons.

Family: Fabaceae family (Leguminosae)

Sicklepod 2 Sicklepod 3

Sicklepod Scouting and Prevention:

Sicklepod is a very big weed that can grow from 1.2 to 2.5m tall and about 1m wide. The leaves are divided up into 3 opposite pairs per branch. Each leaf is about 2cm wide and 4cm long. They are wedge-shaped at the base and very rounded at the tip. They produce 1cm wide yellow flowers with 5 petals. The seedpods on Sicklepod are about 10 to 15cm long and very slender. When you open the pods, shiny, flattened, dark brown seeds burst out.

Common locations

  • - Drained and fertile soil
  • - Pastures


The best way to control Sicklepod is prevention. Do not let the weed establish. The first step in prevention is clean your equipment, vehicles, shoes and clothing that has entered an infested area. Make sure when you buy new seeds they are weed free.

Sicklepod Control:

Cultural Control

Cutting down is a semi productive way to reduce the size of an older plant or kill a fair percentage of the plant. It must be done by a blunt blade prior to the seeds being set. The ideal time to cut down Sicklepod is when the plant starts to flower. If rotary hoeing or disking is your preferred method of control, then do so. However, immediately after you should plant a competitive crop or grass. This control method will only work if the grass is well managed.

Chemical Control

Sicklepod in its seeding stage in non-crop areas it not very difficult to control. However, it becomes much more challenging to manage when it gets older, requiring much higher application herbicides. Herbicides with an active ingredient of 2,4-D works well with eradicating Sicklepods in pastures.

Latin / Alternative Sicklepod names:

  • - Senna obtusifolia
  • - Senna hirsuta
  • - Senna tora
  • - Arsenic weed
  • - Coddee weed
  • - Java bean

Additional Sicklepod Resources