Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Aeschynomene indica
(Indian jointvetch)



Aeschynomene indica (Indian jointvetch)


  • Last modified
  • 16 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Natural Enemy
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Aeschynomene indica
  • Preferred Common Name
  • Indian jointvetch
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae

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a, Leaflet; b, lateral and ventral views; c, staminal tube with pistil, two views; d, pistil with tubercled ovary (enlarged); e, pod; f, one-seeded joint of pod; g, seed.
TitleA. indica - line drawing
Captiona, Leaflet; b, lateral and ventral views; c, staminal tube with pistil, two views; d, pistil with tubercled ovary (enlarged); e, pod; f, one-seeded joint of pod; g, seed.
a, Leaflet; b, lateral and ventral views; c, staminal tube with pistil, two views; d, pistil with tubercled ovary (enlarged); e, pod; f, one-seeded joint of pod; g, seed.
A. indica - line drawinga, Leaflet; b, lateral and ventral views; c, staminal tube with pistil, two views; d, pistil with tubercled ovary (enlarged); e, pod; f, one-seeded joint of pod; g, seed.SEAMEO-BIOTROP


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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Aeschynomene indica L.

Preferred Common Name

  • Indian jointvetch

Other Scientific Names

  • Aeschynomene aspera (non L.) Hassk.
  • Aeschynomene virginica auct.

International Common Names

  • English: budda pea; curly indigo; joint vetch; northern jointvetch; sensitive Malayan vetch
  • Spanish: anil rizado
  • French: eschynomene

Local Common Names

  • Germany: Virginische Schampflanze
  • Indonesia: dinding; gedeyan; katisan; lorotis; peupeuteuyan; tis
  • Italy: pianta modesta bastarda
  • Japan: kusanemu
  • Philippines: makahiyang lalaki
  • Thailand: sano haag kai

EPPO code

  • AESIN (Aeschynomene indica)
  • AESVI (Aeschynomene virginica)

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Fabales
  •                         Family: Fabaceae
  •                             Subfamily: Faboideae
  •                                 Genus: Aeschynomene
  •                                     Species: Aeschynomene indica

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page A. indica L. belongs to the family Fabaceae (formerly Leguminosae), which includes many trees, shrubs, climbers and herbs. It belongs to the subfamily Papillionoideae, which includes the cultivated beans (Henderson, 1959).


Top of page A. indica is a slender, branched annual herb up to about 90 cm tall, leaves 3.8-5 cm long with 20 or 30 pairs of tiny, close-set, oblong, sensitive leaflets; stipules lanceolate, auricled; inflorescence yellow, 2.5-10 cm, in the leaf axils, calyx two-lipped, corolla thin, yellow, a little less than 1.3 cm long, pod up to 0.5 x 5.0 cm, the upper edge straight, the lower dented, with 8-10 almost square, rather woody joints, each containing a single kidney-shaped seed (Henderson, 1959; Noda et al., 1985).


Top of page A. indica originates in the Old World tropics, but now occurs sporadically also in the New World.

In addition to the records listed here, Holm et al. (1979) note A. indica as present in "West Polynesia".

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasivePlantedReferenceNotes


AfghanistanWidespreadHolm et al., 1979
CambodiaPresentWaterhouse, 1993
ChinaWidespreadAnon, 1990
-Hong KongPresentHolm et al., 1979
IndiaRestricted distributionSharma and Das, 1993
-Madhya PradeshWidespreadParadkar et al., 1989
-OdishaWidespreadMishra et al., 1990; Sharma and Das, 1993
IndonesiaPresent Natural Waterhouse, 1993
JapanRestricted distributionSago et al., 1983
Korea, Republic ofPresentKu et al., 1993
LaosPresentWaterhouse, 1993
MalaysiaWidespreadHenderson, 1959
MyanmarPresentWaterhouse, 1993
NepalPresentHolm et al., 1979
PhilippinesRestricted distributionMoody et al., 1984; Waterhouse, 1993
Sri LankaWidespreadHolm et al., 1979
TaiwanPresent Natural Holm et al., 1979
ThailandWidespreadNoda et al., 1985
VietnamPresentWaterhouse, 1993


BeninPresentHolm et al., 1979
BotswanaPresentHolm et al., 1979
Congo Democratic RepublicPresentHolm et al., 1979
EritreaPresentThulin, 1989
EthiopiaPresentThulin, 1989
GambiaPresentHutchinson and Dalziel, 1972
GhanaPresentHolm et al., 1979
Guinea-BissauPresentHutchinson and Dalziel, 1972
MadagascarPresent Natural Eliot et al., 1993
MaliPresentHutchinson and Dalziel, 1972
MauritiusPresentHolm et al., 1979
NigeriaPresentHutchinson and Dalziel, 1972
SenegalWidespreadHolm et al., 1979
ZimbabwePresentHolm et al., 1979

North America

USAPresent Natural Holm et al., 1979

Central America and Caribbean

GuatemalaPresentHolm et al., 1979
Puerto RicoPresentHolm et al., 1979

South America

ColombiaPresentHolm et al., 1979
EcuadorWidespreadHolm et al., 1979


AustraliaPresent Natural
FijiPresentHolm et al., 1979
Papua New GuineaPresent Natural


Top of page This plant prefers wet conditions and is often found along the borders of ditches or pools, or in wet cultivated land. It is also found in wet open places, sandy areas and along roadsides. It is distributed within the tropics and sub-tropics, in regions with or without a pronounced dry season, at altitudes from 0-1000 m (Backer and Bakhuizen, 1963; Ridley, 1967; Soerjani et al., 1987).

Biology and Ecology

Top of page A. indica propagates via seeds (hydro- or zoochorous), which often contaminate cover crop seeds, soil in polybags, wheels of tractors and farm implements. 61 species of weeds including A. indica were recorded as contaminants of leguminous cover crop seeds imported into Malaysia (Tasrif et al., 1991).

Sago et al. (1983) noted that despite pronounced dormancy of its seed at maturation, A. indica emerged throughout the growing season except during frost, and that saturated soil conditions favoured emergence.

Vesicular-arbuscular-mycorrhizal fungi were found on A. indica plants grown under normal moisture conditions but not under waterlogged conditions. Sodium chloride, potassium nitrate and glucose at 1.0, 2.0 and 4.0% inhibited the growth of A. indica plants (Singh and Tyagi, 1989), potassium nitrate being the more toxic to plant growth. 12 hours' light exposure was found to be optimal for the growth of A. indica and for maximum mycorrhizal colonization (Singh and Tyagi, 1989).

A. indica prefers wet conditions and is often found along the borders of ditches or pools, or in wet cultivated land. It is also found in wet open places, sandy areas and along roadsides.

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Glomerella cingulata f.sp. aeschynomene Pathogen Arkansas; USA
Glomerella cingulata f.sp. aeschynomene Pathogen


Top of page Waterhouse (1993) lists A. indica as among the major rice weeds in South-East Asia, and as widespread and important in the Philippines and Cambodia, and locally important in Thailand.

A. indica is a minor weed of rubber and oil palm in Malaysia. The reasons for its limited infestation are not clear but may be attributed to fierce competition by aggressive weeds such as Imperata cylindrica, Mikania micrantha, Paspalum conjugatum and Asystasia gangetica.

No work has been carried out to quantify its effects on crop yield.

A. indica is occasionally observed in orchards, field crops and vegetable plots. It has been recorded as an important alternative host of the pod-borer, Helicoverpa armigera, in chickpea (Cicer arietenum) in India (Patel and Patitunda, 1981).

A. indica is a promising green manure (Soerjani et al., 1987). It is reported to be harmful to horses when eaten in the fruiting stage (Soerjani et al., 1987).

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Top of page Aeschynomene americana may be distinguished from A. indica by its obliquely topped leaflets with 2-5 nerves, its up to 2-mm-long pod stalk, and its incised dorsal pod suture (Soerjani et al., 1987). A. americana is perennial, and has pink flowers whereas those of A. indica are yellow. The peduncles and pedicels of A. americana may be viscid.

Prevention and Control

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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

Cultural Control

In rice (Soerjani et al., 1987), manual control is indicated to be the most common means of controlling A. indica in Indonesia. Sharma and Das (1993) carried out nitrogen management and tillage experiments in direct-sown rice in India, under rainfed flooded conditions. For a group of weed species including A. indica, weed dry weight increased with increasing nitrogen levels and decreased as the number of times of ploughing increased. Hand-weeding, inter-row cultivation and application of thiobencarb all decreased weed dry weight and increased rice grain yields.

Experiments carried out by Lokras et al. (1985) indicated that in soyabean, hand-weeding at 20, 35 and 50 days after sowing gave more effective control of a complex of weeds, including A. indica, than herbicide treatments.


Colletotrichum gloeosporioides f. sp. aeschynomene is a useful biological control agent of northern jointvetch (Aeschynomene virginica) and is commercially available as a biocontrol agent (Templeton et al., 1990). Initial studies with Colletotrichum gloeosporioides showed that the fungus is highly specific to A. virginica and only slightly virulent on A. indica, no other plants from 150 crop species and weeds being affected (Smith et al., 1973; Templeton and Smith, 1974).

Further studies are needed on fungi pathogenic to A. indica in the Asia-Pacific region.

Chemical Control

In rice, herbicides that have been used against weed complexes involving A. indica include thiobencarb in direct-sown rice (Sharma and Das, 1993); pendimethalin in upland rice (Mishra et al., 1990); and a number of diphenyl ether, 1,3,5-triazine and phenoxy herbicides applied pre- and post-emergence (Sago et al., 1983).

In soyabean, Lokras et al. (1985) found that bentazone gave poor control of weeds including A. indica; better control was achieved with metribuzin, oxadiazon, fluchloralin or metolachlor.


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Anon, 1990. Farmland weeds in China. Agricultural Publishing House.

Barnes DE; Chan LG, 1990. Common Weeds of Malaysia and their Control. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Ancom Berhad Persiaran Selangor.

Henderson MR, 1959. Malayan wild flowers, Part 1: Dicotyledons. Kuala Lumpur: Caxton Press.

Holm LG; Pancho JV; Herberger JP; Plucknett DL, 1979. A geographical atlas of world weeds. New York, USA: John Wiley and Sons, 391 pp.

Hutchinson J; Dalziel JM, 1972. Flora of West Tropical Africa. Volume 3. 2nd edition. London, UK: Crown Agents.

Ku YC; Park KH; Oh YJ, 1993. Changes of weed flora under direct seeded rice cultivation in dry paddy field. Korean Journal of Weed Science, 13(2):159-163.

Lokras VG; Sinii VK; Bisen CR; Tiwari JP, 1985. Chemical weed control in Soybean. Indian Journal of Weed Science, 17(4):45-48.

Mishra SS; Jena SN; Nanda SS; Garnayak LM, 1990. Chemical weed control in upland rice. Orissa Journal of Agricultural Research, 2(3-4):218-220

Moody K; Lubigan RT; Munroe CE; Paller EC, 1984. Major weeds of the Philippines. Weed Science Society of the Philippines. Los Ba±os, Laguna, Philippines: University of the Philippines.

Noda K; Teerawatsakul M; Prakongvongs C; Chaiwiratnukul L, 1985. Major Weeds in Thailand. Bangkok, Thailand: Department of Agriculture.

Paradkar NR; Tiwari JP; Kurchania SP, 1989. Survey of kharif weeds in Rewa division of Madhya Pradesh (India). Indian Journal of Weed Science, 21(1-2):31-36

Ridley HN, 1967. The Flora of the Malay Peninsula: Polypetalae.

Sago R; Ohnishi S; Tanaka F, 1983. Ecology and control of jointvetch in rice cultivation. Weed Research, Japan, 28(2):100-105

Sharma AR; Das KC, 1993. Weed and nitrogen management in direct-sown rice (Oryza sativa L.) under rainfed flooded condition. Integrated weed management for sustainable agriculture. Proceedings of an Indian Society of Weed Science International Symposium, Hisar, India, 18-20 November 1993., Vol. III:1-5.

Singh CS; Tyagi SP, 1989. Study on the occurence of VAM fungi in the root of Aeschynomene indica under the influence of various ecological factors. Zentralblatt-fur-Mikrobiologies, 144:241-48

Smith RJ; Fox WT; Daniel JT; Templeton GE, 1973. Can plant diseases be used to control weeds? Arkansas Farm Research, 22:4, 12.

Soerjani M; Kostermans AJGH; Tjitrosoepomo G, 1987. Weeds of Indonesia. Jakarta, Indonesia: Balai Pustaka, 716 pp.

Tasrif A; Sahid IB; Sastroutomo SS; Latiff A, 1991. Purity study of imported leguminous cover crops. Plant Protection Quarterly, 6(4):190-193.

Templeton GE; Smith RJ Jr; TeBeest DO, 1990. Perspectives on mycoherbicides two decades after discovery of the Collego pathogen. Proceedings of the VIII International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds Rome, Italy; Istituto Sperimentale per la Patologia Vegetale, Ministero dell'Agricoltura e delle Foreste, 553-558

Templeton GE; Smith RJ, 1974. Bio-control of northern joinvetch. Rice Journal, 77(7):29-30.

Thulin M, 1989. Fabaceae. In: Hedberg I, Edwards S, eds. Flora of Ethiopia, Volume 3. Pittosporaceae to Araliaceae. Addis Abbaba, Ethiopia/Uppsala University, Sweden: National Herbarium, 97-251.

Waterhouse DF, 1993. The Major Arthropod Pests and Weeds of Agriculture in Southeast Asia. ACIAR Monograph No. 21. Canberra, Australia: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, 141 pp.

Links to Websites

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GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gateway source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Global register of Introduced and Invasive species (GRIIS) source for updated system data added to species habitat list.

Distribution Maps

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