Katuray or Sesbania flower is an edible flower of a tree 5-12 meters high, native and widely diversified in Africa, Southeast Asia, India, South Pacific and the Philippines.
It belongs to the legume family (Fabacea). The flowers also known as pea flowers, are creamy white in color, at least that’s the only variety that I know. But when I did my research, Sesbania flowers comes in a wide range of color. I did not not even know that other countries like Japan, Sri Lanka and Malaysia eat the flowers too. Pods that developed after the pollination can be eaten but I have not tried it yet. It would be like a regular bean just like the Faba Bean. The carpenter bee is the main pollinator. The flowers would show and be prolific after a long rainfall.
Before using the flowers in salads or other recipes, you need to remove the calyx, stamen and pistils because they are bitter. You may parboil or blanch before using to remove the bitterness.
Most countries use the Sesbania for its medicinal value. The leaves and roots can be boiled and drink as a diuretic. Bark can be used as a purgative and in Indo China the bark is used to treat dysentery, diarrhea, fever and colic. In the Philippines, it used for treatment of coughing of blood.
Katuray or Sesbania flower is an excellent source of calcium, traces of iron, and Vitamin B and is considered a cancer inhibitor.