Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition
Crotalaria verrucosa L.
Linnaeus, C. von (1753) Species Plantarum 2: 715. Type: Habitat in India.
Blueflower Rattlepod; Rattlepod, Blueflower
Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1-1.5 m tall but also flowers when smaller.
Flowers subtended by narrow lanceolate, about 9 mm long, bracts, apex inflated and hooked. Flowers about 16-18 x 23 mm. Calyx tube about 3-4 mm long, lobes about 6 mm long. Stamens ten, filaments fused into a tube about 6-7 mm long, open on one side. Petals: standard about 16 x 12 mm, wings about 12-15 mm long, keel about 12-15 mm long. Stamens dimorphic, the longer filaments with small anthers about 0.8 x 0.8 mm and the shorter filaments with longer anthers about 4 x 1 mm. Ovary densely clothed in white hairs. Style about 8-9 mm, hairy towards the apex.
Pods cylindrical, about 50-80 x 10-16 mm, hairy, grooved on one side. Seeds about 28-32 per fruit. Outer surface of the seeds and the inner surface of the pod oily. Radicle adjacent to the cotyledons.
Cotyledons oblong, about 19-25 x 9-12 mm. Cotyledon petioles flattened on the upper surface with a purple rib on each side which runs down the hypocotyl to form a 'V'. Stem, petioles and hypocotyl hairy. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade +/- ovate or rhomboid, apex acute or obtuse. Upper and lower surface of the leaf blade clothed in pale +/- prostrate hairs. Stipules comparatively large, about 5-10 x 4 mm, +/- foliaceous and photosynthetically active. Seed germination time 6 to 8 days.
This plant is poisonous.
This species is of no grazing significance; not toxic to rats in laboratory tests. In the Caribbean it has been found to be salt-tolerant. Hacker (1990).