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Sesbania grandiflora

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Sesbania grandiflora
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Clade: Robinioids
Tribe: Sesbanieae
Genus: Sesbania
S. grandiflora
Binomial name
Sesbania grandiflora
    • 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.

Sesbania grandiflora,[2][page needed] 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 5–25 m (16–82 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.

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.



It is used to make highly nutritional fodder for ruminants like cattle, though it can be deadly to chickens.[6]


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 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,[7] and raw or blanched with nam phrik.[8]

Flower nutrition[edit]

S. grandiflora flowers are 92% water, 7% carbohydrates, 1% protein, and contain no fat.[9] In a reference amount of 100 grams (3.5 oz), the flowers supply 27 calories, and are a rich source of vitamin C (88% of the Daily Value, DV) and folate (26% DV).[9]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sesbania grandiflora (L.) Poir". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 2024. Retrieved 30 March 2024.
  2. ^ Joshi, Shankar Gopal (2000). Medicinal Plants. Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. ISBN 9788120414143.
  3. ^ USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Sesbania grandiflora". The PLANTS Database (plants.usda.gov). 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. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 November 2019. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  5. ^ Kirtikar K. R. & B. D. Basu, Indian Medicinal Plants Vol-I, International Book Distributor & Publisher, Dehradun, Edition 2005, bks pp. 735–736
  6. ^ Heering, J.H. & R.C. Gutteridge. 1992. Sesbania grandiflora (L.) Poir. Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine [Internet] Record from Proseabase. L.'t Mannetje and R.M. Jones. (Editors). Forages.: Plant Resources of South-East Asia 4: 196-198. PROSEA (Plant Resources of South-East Asia) Foundation, Bogor, Indonesia. Accessed from Internet: Feb 5, 2013
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Thailand Illustrated Magazine Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ a b "Sesbania flower, raw (per 100 g)". FoodData Central, US Department of Agriculture. 1 April 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2023.