RATTLEBOX





(Crotalaria sagittalis) Pea family



Flowers - Yellow, 1/2 in. long or less, usually only 2 or 3 on a

long peduncle. Calyx 5-toothed, slightly 2-lipped; corolla

papilionaceous. Stem: 3 to 10 in. high, weak, hairy. Leaves:

Alternate, simple, oval to lance-shaped; stipules arrow-shaped

above and running along stem. Fruit: An inflated oblong pod 1 in,

long, blackish, seedy.

Preferred Habitat - Dry, sandy, open situations.

Flowering Season - June-September.

Distribution - New England and Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.



These insignificant little yellow flowers attract scant notice

from human observers accustomed to associate their generic name

with some particularly beautiful relatives from the West Indies

grown in hothouses here. But did not small bees alight on the

keel and depress it, as in the lupine, next of kin (q.v.) there

might be no seeds to rattle in the dark inflated pods that so

delight children. (Krotalon = a castanet.)





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