(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
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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