Story and Photos by Jane Jordan
Hummingbird tree (Sesbania grandiflora) has the most beautiful and unusual flowers that resemble small birds. They hang in large clusters and come in striking shades of white, red, and pink. This fast-growing tree is open branched with green leaves along stems that can grow up to 1 foot long. It loves moisture and thrives in a wide range of soils.
As the hummingbird tree is susceptible to wind damage, a sheltered location is best, where it can be pollinated by birds and bees while also attracting butterflies to your garden.
Quick Facts and Keys to Success
Common Names: Hummingbird tree, vegetable hummingbird, flamingo bill, Australian corkwood tree, agati, West Indian pea
Botanical Name: Sesbania grandiflora
Flower Color: Pink, red, and white
USDA Hardiness Zone(s): 10a-11
Growth Rate: Fast
Bloom Time: November to June
Soil: Wide range, but best in well drained
Mature Size: Up to 40 feet tall, but usually smaller.
Propagation: Seedlings or cuttings
In Your Landscape: Thrives in heat and humidity, best in sunny, sheltered location.