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.