Sesbania grandiflora

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Sesbania grandiflora
Starr 050518-1632 Sesbania grandiflora.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Sesbanieae
Genus: Sesbania
S. grandiflora
Binomial name
Sesbania grandiflora
(L.) Poiret
  • Aeschynomene coccinea L.f.
  • Aeschynomene grandiflora (L.) L.
  • Agati coccinea (L.f.) Desv.
  • Agati grandiflora (L.) Desv.
  • Agati grandiflora var. albiflora Wight & Arn.
  • Agati grandiflora var. coccinea (L.f.) Wight & Arn.
  • Coronilla coccinea (L.f.) Willd.
  • Coronilla grandiflora (L.) Willd.
  • Coronilla grandiflora Boiss.
  • Dolichos arborescens G. Don
  • Dolichos arboreus Forssk.
  • Emerus grandiflorus (L.) Kuntze
  • Resupinaria grandiflora (L.) Raf.
  • Robinia grandiflora L.
  • Sesban coccinea (L.f.) Poir.
  • Sesban grandiflora (L.) Poir. [Spelling variant]
  • Sesban grandiflorus (L.) Poir.
  • Sesbania coccinea (L.f.) Pers. [1]

Sesbania grandiflora,[2] commonly known as vegetable hummingbird,[3] katurai, agati, or West Indian pea, is a small leguminous tree native to Maritime Southeast Asia and Northern Australia. It has edible flowers and leaves commonly eaten in Southeast Asia and South Asia.[4]


Sesbania grandiflora is a fast-growing tree. The leaves are regular and rounded and the flowers white, red or pink. The fruits look like flat, long, thin green beans. The tree thrives under full exposure to sunshine and is extremely frost sensitive.

It is a small soft wooded tree up to 3–8 m (10–26 ft) tall. Leaves are 15–30 cm (6–12 in) long, with leaflets in 10–20 pairs or more and an odd one. Flowers are oblong, 1.5–10 cm (1–4 in) long in lax, with two to four flower racemes. The calyx is campanulate and shallowly two-lipped. Pods are slender, falcate or straight, and 30–45 cm (12–18 in) long, with a thick suture and approximately 30 seeds 8 mm (0.3 in) in size.

A twig of S. grandiflora
Steamed Sesbania grandiflora flowers (bottom), among other vegetables, in a Thai dish
Flowers of S. grandiflora
Flowers of the red variant of S. grandiflora
Sesbania grandiflora pink variety
Sesbania flower, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy113 kJ (27 kcal)
6.73 g
0.04 g
1.28 g
Thiamine (B1)
0.083 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.081 mg
Niacin (B3)
0.43 mg
Folate (B9)
102 μg
Vitamin C
73 mg
19 mg
0.84 mg
12 mg
30 mg
184 mg

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA FoodData Central

Origin and distribution[edit]

It is native to Maritime Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei) to Northern Australia, and is cultivated in many parts of South India and Sri Lanka. It has many traditional uses.[5] It grows where there is good soil and a hot, humid climate.

Culinary uses[edit]

The flowers of S. grandiflora are eaten as a vegetable in Southeast Asia and South Asia, including Java and Lombok in Indonesia, the Ilocos Region of the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand.

In Khmer language, the flowers are called ផ្កាអង្គាដី (angkea dei) and young leaves and flowers are used in the cuisine both cooked in curries, such as Samlor mchou angkea dei and salad sauce bok amproek or toek kroeung.[citation needed]

In the Thai language, the flowers are called ดอกแค (dok khae) and are used in the cuisine both cooked in curries, such as kaeng som and kaeng khae,[6] and raw or blanched with nam phrik.[7]

In India, this plant is known as அகத்தி (Tamil), hadga (हादगा in Marathi), agasti (Odia), agasey (Kannada), అవిసె (Telugu), and both the leaves and the flowers have culinary uses. It is known as Bok phool (বকফুল) in West Bengal, India and Bangladesh, and is eaten after being fried with gram paste.

The young pods are also eaten. In Sri Lanka, agati leaves, known as Katuru murunga in Sinhala language, are sometimes added to sudhu hodhi or white curry, a widely eaten, thin coconut gravy. It is also eaten in the Maldives (locally known as Feeru Muran'ga, ފީރު މުރަނގަ).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sesbania grandiflora (L.) Pers. — The Plant List". Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  2. ^ Joshi S. G., Medicinal Plants, Medicinal plants, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. bks)
  3. ^ USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Sesbania grandiflora". The PLANTS Database ( Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  4. ^ Cucio, Ardy L.; Aragones, Julie Ann A. Katuray Production Guide (PDF). Bureau of Plant Industry, Department of Agriculture, Republic of the Philippines.
  5. ^ Kirtikar K. R. & B. D. Basu, Indian Medicinal Plants Vol-I, International Book Distributor & Publisher, Dehradun, Edition 2005, bks pp. 735–736
  6. ^ LittleBigThaiKitchen (12 March 2012). "Kaeng Khae Kai (Katurai Chilli Soup with Chicken)". Archived from the original on 2021-12-19. Retrieved 17 June 2019 – via YouTube.
  7. ^ Thailand Illustrated Magazine Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]