Crotalaria spectabilis Roth

Last updated: 06 May 2015

Scientific Name

Crotalaria spectabilis Roth

Synonyms

Crotalaria altipes Raf., Crotalaria cuneifolia (Forssk.) "Schrank, p.p.B", Crotalaria cuneifolia (Forssk.) Schrank, Crotalaria lechnaultii DC. [Spelling variant], Crotalaria leschenaultii DC., Crotalaria macrophylla Wienmann, Crotalaria retzii Hitchc., Crotalaria sericea Retz. [1]

Vernacular Name

English Showy rattlebox, showy crotalaria [2] [3]
Thailand Mahing men (Northern) [2]
Hawaii Kolomona [2]

Geographical Distributions

Crotalaria spec­tabilis probably originated in tropical Asia, but is now distributed pantropically. This plant is a plant of the tropics and subtropics. It occurs in open locations along forest margins and as a weed in cultivated fields, from sea level up to 1500 m alti­tude, in a wide range of soils, including heavy soils, with a pH range of 4.8-8.0. [2]

Botanical Description

C. spec­tabilis comes from the family of Leguminosae. It is an erect, much-branched annual herb, and measures up to 2 m tall. [2]

The stem and branches are angular, grooved and nearly smooth. [2]

The leaves are simple, and with persistent stipules. They are obliquely oblong-ovate, acuminate,  and measuring 3-10 mm x 2-8 mm. The petiole is 2-8 mm long. The blade is oblanceolate to obovate, and measuring (5-)8-14 cm x 3-8 cm. The upper surface is hairless while the lower surface appressed hairy. [2]

The in­florescence is 15-50 cm long which is rather lax and with many-flowered raceme. The bracts are persistent, cordate, measuring 10-20 mm x 5-10 mm, and acute or acuminate. The pedicel is 8-13 mm long. The bracteoles are 1-2 mm long and lance-shaped. The hairless sepal is bell-shaped, measures 11-14 mm long, and with 5 unequal lobes which are longer than the tube. The petal is yellow.  The wings are obovate-oblong, and measuring 9-18 mm x 5-9 mm. The keel measuring 10-14 mm x 4-9 mm is rounded about the middle, with a short, incurved and twisted beak. The 10 sta­mens are united into one group by their filaments. The anthers are dimorphic, with 5 long, basifixed anthers on a short filament that alter­nate with 5 rounded dorsifixed anthers which are on a long filament. The ovary is narrowly oblong and hairless. [2]

The fruit is a broadly clavate-oblong pod, measuring 4-5 cm x 1.5-2.5 cm, smooth, brown to dark brown when mature and with 20-24 seeds. [2]

The seed is unequal-sided heart-shaped, measuring about 3.5 mm x 4 mm, with the radicular side incurved and brown. [2]

Cultivation

C. spec­tabilis cultivated throughout the tropics, including Southeast Asia and in the south-eastern United States. It requires an annual rainfall of 900-2800 mm and a mean annual temperature of 12-28°C. This plant is drought-tolerant. [2]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation

Dosage

No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing

517

Figure 1: The line drawing of C. spectabilis Roth

References

  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Crotalaria spectabilis Roth[homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Apr 18; cited 2015 May 06]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/ild-6024
  2. Niyomdham C. Crotalaria spectabilis Roth In: Faridah Hanum I, Van der Maesen LJG, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 11: Auxiliary plants. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher, 1997; p. 105-107.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology. Volume I A-C. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press LLC; 1999. p. 646.