Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
Census of SA Plants, Algae & Fungi
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Electronic Flora of South Australia genus Fact Sheet

Family: Fabaceae

Citation: L., Sp. Pl. 714 (1753).

Derivation: Greco-Latin crotalum, a rattle, castanet; the seeds rattle in the inflated pod.

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Rattlepods

Herbs or shrubs; leaves simple or palmately 3-foliolate rarely to 7 leaflets; stipules small or absent, stipels none.

Flowers in terminal or leaf-opposed racemes, rarely subsolitary; bracts small or absent; bracteoles paired, small; calyx lobes subequal, linear or lanceolate, free (rarely the upper 2 fused and forming a lip); petals yellow, rarely green, standard orbicular, rarely ovate; wings shorter than the standard; keel rounded or angled, incurved, beaked; stamens 10, monadelphous, open on the upper side; anthers dimorphic, alternately small and versatile and long and basifixed; ovary generally sessile, with 2 or more ovules; style much incurved or suddenly bent inwards or geniculate, more or less bearded adaxially; stigma small, rarely 2-lobed.

Pod sessile or stipitate, turgid or inflated, globose to linear-oblong, dehiscent, 1-many-seeded; seed oblique-cordate to oblong-reniform, without an aril (in S.Aust.).

Distribution:  About 550 species, throughout the tropics and subtropics, 20-22 species in north and centra Australia, all endemics except 3. (R. M. Polhill (1983) Crotalaria in Africa and Madagascar.)

Biology: No text

Key to Species:
1. Flowers 30-60 mm long; petals yellow-green with purple veins
C. cunninghamii 1.
1. Flowers 4-20 mm long; petals yellow
2. Petioles 5-50 mm long; flowers 6-18 mm long; hairs of branchlets tomentose and randomly oriented or none
3. Keel not twisted at the apex; plants delicate; petioles 0.5-0.75mm diam.; branchlets 1-2.5 mm diam., just below the racemes
C. eremaea 2.
3. Keel spirally twisted at the apex; plant coarse; petioles c. 1 mm diam.; branchlets 2-5 mm diam. just below the racemes
C. novae-hollandiae 4.
2. Petioles 2-6 mm long; flowers 4-10 mm long; hairs on branchlets antrorse or retrorse
4. Pod rounded-rhombic, 3.5-5 mm long and broad; hairs on branchlets antrorse, fusiform
C. medicaginea 3.
4. Pod obovate-oblong, 10-20 x 5-9 mm; hairs on branchlets villous and spreading-retrorse
C. smithiana 5.

Author: Not yet available

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