Scientific name: Crotalaria juncea
Common names: Sunn hemp, Brown hemp, Indian hemp, Sonhemp
Seeding rate: 4 – 5 g/m² (40 – 50 kg/ha)
Growth cycle: Annual
Growth season: Warm season
Sunn hemp is an annual tropical to subtropical legume, mainly cultivated for its high growth rate and high-quality fibre in arid to semi-arid regions. It is an erect shrubby plant reaching 1 – 4 m in height. The flowers are deep yellow. Pods are hairy and light brown producing loose brown to black seeds. It has a strong taproot with many lateral roots. Sunn hemp probably originates from India and Pakistan. It was grown since 600 BC in India and is one of the earliest recorded cultivated fibre crops. Sunn hemp is used for soil conservation, silage, hay and fodder. It is also used as green manure and to suppress plant root nematodes. It combines well with wheat, sorghum, sugarcane, cotton and beans. It is cross-pollinated by bees.