Sesbania grandiflora, also known as agati or hummingbird tree, is a small to medium-sized tree native to South Asia but also found in other tropical regions.
The tree can grow up to 8-12 meters tall with a trunk diameter of up to 30 cm. The leaves are pinnate, 15-30 cm long with 20-40 pairs of leaflets. The flowers are large, showy, white or red, and often used as a vegetable in Southeast Asian cuisine. The fruit is a long, thin pod, 30-45 cm in length, containing several seeds.
Sesbania grandiflora is a tropical tree that grows best in warm, humid conditions. It requires full sunlight and can tolerate a wide range of soil types, including poor and waterlogged soils. It can be propagated from seeds or stem cuttings and takes about 7-10 days to germinate.
The flowers and young pods are harvested for culinary use, typically when they are 30-45 cm in length. The tree can be pruned heavily to encourage branching and increase the yield.
The flowers and pods of Sesbania grandiflora are low in calories and a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, iron, and calcium.
The flowers and pods of Sesbania grandiflora are used in Southeast Asian cuisine, particularly in Thai and Filipino dishes. The young pods are typically used in soups and stews, while the flowers can be stir-fried or used in salads.
Sesbania grandiflora is rich in antioxidants and has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including fever, cough, and digestive issues. It is also believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, though more research is needed to confirm these benefits.