Vegetable Humming Bird

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

vegetable humming bird Sesbania grandiflora, a leguminous tree native to S. and SE Asia, now cultivated in both Old and New World tropics. The tree has a remarkably rapid growth and represents a resource which could be exploited increasingly for many different purposes.

The young leaves, tender pods, and huge flowers are prized as food in SE Asia. The leaves, which are remarkably nutritious, are used in curry-type dishes, or fried or steamed. The pods (length about 30 cm/12") are also eaten as a vegetable, and the seeds they contain may be processed like soya beans (which they rival in nutritional merit).