Showy Rattlebox - Yellow Rattlebox
Crotolaria spectabilis - Roth
Fabaceae (Pea) Family

Crotolaria is also known as Rattlebox and Showy Crotolaria.

Plant is an upright, smooth to hairy annual with a taproot. Preferred habitat is roadsides and waste places. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

Leaves are alternate; consisting of one whole part; oval-shaped to several times longer than broad; no teeth and no lobes; base is wedge-shaped or graduating to a narrow point.

Flowers are in a terminal raceme; calyx is five-lobed; five petals; bright yellow to yellow-orange. Flowers occur in the summer.

Fruit is a legume.

When the pods dry and mature the pea-like seeds rattle in the shell sounding much like the noise of a rattlesnake. In a large field of crotolaria it is not unusual to hear a humming noise from the rattling. Wheat farmers are cautious about eliminating the seeds from corn and wheat as a broker will knock down the purchase price of grain because considerable crotolaria in the mix may render an inferior product.

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