Sunn hemp Crotalaria juncea, copyright A16898.

Belongs within: Crotalarieae.

Crotalaria, rattlepods, is a pantropical genus of leguminous herbs and shrubs in which the seeds become loose within their pod as they mature. Members include C. juncea, sunn hemp or brown hemp, which is grown in tropical and subtropical regions as a source of fibre for rope-making, as well as for green manure or fodder. The showy rattlepod C. spectabilis is a native of southern Asia that has been widely introduced to other parts of the world as a green manure, subsequently becoming regarded as an agricultural pest in many of these regions.

Characters (from New South Wales Flora Online): Herbs and shrubs, annuals and perennials. Leaves alternate, simple, 1-foliolate or palmately compound with 3–7 leaflets; leaflets often with translucent glands; stipulate; stipels absent. Flowers usually in terminal racemes, sometimes leaf opposed or rarely axillary; bracteate. Calyx 5-toothed, more or less equal, sometimes 2-lipped with upper 2 teeth more or less united and lower 3 teeth more or less united. Corolla venation sometimes dark; standard more or less circular or ovate, sometimes pubescent outside; wings shorter than standard, with a patch of ruffles in rows; keel curved to 90?, ciliate, sometimes incurved, beak tip sometimes twisting spirally. Stamen monadelphous, sheath split on upper side; anthers alternately long and basifixed and short and dorsifixed. Ovary ?2-ovuled; style incurved or bent, longitudinal line of hairs on inside; stigma terminal. Pods inflated, dehiscence sometimes incomplete; seeds more or less reniform, with or without an aril, usually smooth, funicles slender.

    |--C. saltiana CP13
    `--+--C. incana CP13
       `--+--C. juncea CP13
          `--C. pumila CP13

Crotalaria incertae sedis:
  C. alata LK14
  C. albida P03
  C. aurea CV06
  C. axillaris C55
  C. beddomeana M03
  C. brevis LK14
  C. brownei C55
  C. burhia PP07
  C. calycina LK14
  C. colorata CV06
  C. crispata M99
  C. cunninghamii LK14
  C. dissitiflora M99
  C. eremaea B00
  C. goreensis LK14
  C. humifusa LK14
  C. kurtii CV06
  C. laburnifolia LK14
  C. lunata S00
  C. maypurensis CP13
  C. medicaginea LK14
    |--C. m. var. medicaginea LK14
    `--C. m. var. neglecta LK14
  C. mitchellii B00
  C. montana LK14
    |--C. m. var. montana LK14
    `--C. m. var. angustifolia LK14
  C. mucronata B00
  C. mysorensis LK14
  C. novae-hollandiae B12
    |--C. n. ssp. novae-hollandiae LK14
    `--C. n. ssp. crassipes LK14
  C. pallida B00
  C. podocarpa AB03
  C. prostrata LK14
  C. quinquefolia LK14
  C. ramosissima LK14
  C. retusa LK14
  C. saharae CS77
  C. sessiliflora W92
  C. spectabilis Roth 1821 [incl. C. sericea Retz. 1789 non Burm. 1768] SY72
  C. verrucosa LK14

*Type species of generic name indicated


[AB03] Ainouche, A., R. J. Bayer, P. Cubas & M.-T. Misset. 2003. Phylogenetic relationships within tribe Genisteae (Papilionoideae) with special reference to genus Ulex. In: Klitgaard, B. B., & A. Bruneau (eds) Advances in Legume Systematics vol. 10. Higher Level Systematics pp. 239–252. Royal Botanic Gardens: Kew.

[B00] Braby, M. F. 2000. Butterflies of Australia: their identification, biology and distribution vol. 2. CSIRO Publishing: Collingwood (Victoria).

[B12] Braby, M. F. 2012. The butterflies of El Questro Wilderness Park, with remarks on the taxonomy of the Kimberley fauna, Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 27 (2): 161–175.

[C55] Candolle, A. de. 1855. Géographie Botanique Raisonée: Ou exposition des faits principaux et des lois concernant la distribution géographique des plantes de l’époque actuelle vol. 2. Librairie de Victor Masson: Paris.

[CP13] Cardoso, D., R. T. Pennington, L. P. de Queiroz, J. S. Boatwright, B.-E. Van Wyk, M. F. Wojciechowski & M. Lavin. 2013. Reconstructing the deep-branching relationships of the papilionoid legumes. South African Journal of Botany 89: 58–75.

[CS77] Cramp, S., & K. E. L. Simmons (eds) 1977. Handbook of the Birds of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa: The Birds of the Western Palaearctic vol. 1. Ostrich to Ducks. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

[CV06] Craven, P., & P. Vorster. 2006. Patterns of plant diversity and endemism in Namibia. Bothalia 36 (2): 175–189.

[LK14] Lyons, M. N., G. J. Keighery, L. A. Gibson & T. Handasyde. 2014. Flora and vegetation communities of selected islands off the Kimberley coast of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 81: 205–244.

[M03] Matthew, K. M. 2003. An integrated programme for local Floras, conservation research and environmental awareness generation in south India. Telopea 10 (1): 73–80.

[M99] Matthews, M. 1999. Heliothine Moths of Australia: A guide to bollworms and related noctuid groups. CSIRO Publishing.

[PP07] Pandey, R. P., & P. M. Padhye. 2007. Studies on phytodiversity of Arid Machia Safari Park-Kailana in Jodhpur (Rajasthan). Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 49: 15–78.

[P03] Paul, T. K. 2003. Botanical observations on the Purulia pumped storage hydropower project area, Bagmundi Hills, Purulia district, West Bengal. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 45: 121–142.

[SY72] Shah, G. L., & D. V. Yogi. 1972. Nomenclatural changes in some Bombay plants—IV. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 69 (2): 444–449.

[S00] Siddiqi, M. R. 2000. Tylenchida: Parasites of plants and insects 2nd ed. CABI Publishing: Wallingford (UK).

[W92] Wilson, E. O. 1992. The Diversity of Life. Harvard University Press: Belknap (USA).

Last updated: 1 January 2021.

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