Sesbania grandiflora (L.) Pers.

Sub-Family: Papilionoideae
English Name: Humming Bird Tree
Synonym: Robinia grandiflora L.
Common Name: Agathi, Agasthi
Flowering & Fruiting Period: June - September
Distribution: Cultivated and naturalised in Tropical Africa and Asia, probably native of Indonesia
Habitat: Cultivated
Uses: Flowers edible raw or cooked. Crushed leaves are applied as a poultice to sprains and bruises of all kinds, swellings, rheumatism, itching etc. A bark decoction is taken orally to treat fever, diarrhoea, dysentery and diabetes. Juice of the flowers, put in the eyes, is said to relieve dimness of vision. Sinus congestion is reduced by taking a decoction of the flowers. The root is a well-known medicine for malaria. A paste of the root is applied externally in the treatment of rheumatism. A gum is obtained from the seed endosperm. The wood is a major source of pulp for use in making paper. The wood is used for fuel and to make charcoal.
Key Characteristics: Small soft-wooded trees; up to 7 m tall; branchlets pubescent. Leaves; leaflets 12-25 pairs, oblong, base rounded,. Racemes, 2-4-flowered. Flowers, pendulous; pedicels to 2 cm long; bracts and bracteoles 3-4 mm long, linear-oblong. Calyx campanulate; lobes triangular. Corolla pink or white; standard to 10 x 6 cm, reflexed. Staminal sheath 3.5-6 cm long. Pods 30-45 cm long, 5-8 mm wide, slender, falcate or straight. Seeds reddish-brown.