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Plantwise Technical Factsheet

rattleweed (Crotalaria retusa)


Annual herbs; stems erect, up to 130 cm long, ridged, appressed short-pubescent. Leaves simple, oblanceolate to spatulate, 3-10 × 1-3.8 cm, upper surface glabrous and punctate, lower surface densely sericeous pubescent, apex rounded or retuse, mucronate, base cuneate, petioles 2- 3 mm long, stipules narrowly rhombic-ovate, up to 0.5 mm long. Racemes to 27 cm long, few-flowered, bracts narrowly triangular, minute, early deciduous, calyx broadly bell-shaped, appressed short-pubescent, 12-14 mm long; petals bright yellow, the standard ovate, clawed, to 18 mm long, with reddish veins, wings and keel petals as long as the standard. Pods dark brown to black at maturity, 2.5-4.5 × 1.1-1.3 cm, oblong, nearly cylindrical, glabrous. Seeds approximately 23 per pod, golden-brown to brown, 4-4.5 mm long, smooth (Acevedo-Rodríguez, 1996; Wagner et al., 1999).

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