Katuray is a tall and slender tree that bears long, slender hanging pods about one foot long, white or wine-red flowers approximately 5 to 7 cm. They are widely distributed in the country and are usually found in backyards, along roads and in lot boundaries.
The young leaves and pods may be cooked and eaten while flowers and flower buds are commonly cooked and used for medicinal purposes.
There are two distinct types of katuray: one bearing white flowers and the other bearing wine or rose-red flowers. Katuray flowers contain water, ash, protein and fat. Katuray thrives in both dry, moist areas. It grows in low altitudes and propagated through seeds and cuttings.
Germinate the seeds in plots and boxes. Transplant the seedlings when they are about 75 to 100 cm high. If propagated by cuttings, select straight branches with a base diameter of at least 3 cm or more. Plant the cuttings immediately in the field to avoid drying. The best time to plant is usually or just before the rainy season.
How to plant
Prepare the land thoroughly. Dig holes after preparing the land at the prescribed distance of planting.
Normally, the rate of seeding for katuray is approximately 400g to a hectare. At this rate, the distance is 5m between rows and 5m between plants. For seedlings, the holes must be at least 45cm deep and 30cm in diameter. For cuttings the holes are deeper.
Apply simple ring weeding at least 3 or 4 times a year. Irrigation is necessary only when the plants are newly planted. Once the trees are established, irrigation is dispensable and the trees are allowed to grow by themselves.
If spaces are available, other plants like upland rice, legumes and others may be intercropped.
Apply organic fertilizer such as compost and farm manure, if available, in the hills prior to planting. A moderate application of complete fertilization is also recommended.
Katuray is affected by the following insect pests:
- Maruca testatulalis
- Euproctis scantillan
- Prodenia litura faricus
For the control of these pests, consult the nearest Bureau of Plant Industry Office.