Kathurumurunga (agathi in Tamil) which is known as Sesbania grandiflora belongs to the bean family, Fabaceae. It is native to tropical Asia and is widespread in Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. This fast-growing tree is commonly found in the backyard of many Sri Lankan households. The light shade of its canopy does not block sunlight, allowing the growth of other plants.
Kathurumurunga Mallum and Sambol are culinary favourites among many Sri Lankans. Bundles of this leafy green are sold in markets and supermarkets around the country. The leaves can measure up to 30 cm in length with 5-15 paired elliptical leaflets that are three cm in length. The bark of this species is light grey and the wood is soft and white. The fruit is a thin pod which can be up to 60 cm long with 15-50 seeds. All parts of the Kathurumurunga tree have healing properties including the leaves, flowers, bark and root.