Crotalaria verrucosa (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Crotalaria verrucosa L.

Family: Leguminosae - Papilionoideae


  • Crotalaria caerulaea Jacq.

Vernacular names

  • Blue rattleweed, purple rattlebox, warty crotalaria (En)
  • Malaysia: gegiring jantan
  • Philippines: bulai laua (Tagalog), gulinggam (Sulu), reging (Bagobo).
  • Burma (Myanmar): hing hai bay yai
  • Cambodia: voë(lli) châ:ng, khnâ:ng prâmat' (Pursat), châ:ngkrâ:ng tma:t
  • Laos: (ko: hnha:z) lem (Houa Pan)
  • Thailand: kraphohphi (south-eastern), makhing-nu (northern), hinghai-baiyai (central)
  • Vietnam: sục sạc (southern).


Originating from tropical Asia, now pantropically distributed.


Green manure. Roots are used against fever (Cambodia, Laos) and stomach pain (Vietnam). Used in India to purify blood, to cure skin diseases, and as emmenagogue. It produces a neutral seed-gum polysaccharide and the flowers produce kaempferol. Seed caused liver damage to test animals. It is a potential ornamental.


  • Annual, subwoody herb, 0.5-1 m tall, with many quadrangular, velvety hairy, yellow branches.
  • Leaves simple, ovate to elliptical, 5-14 cm × 4-9 cm, pubescent; petiole 4-8 mm long; stipules sickle-shaped, 5-20 mm × 4-14 mm, auricled, persistent.
  • Inflorescence a lax raceme, 5-25 cm long, leaf-opposed, with up to 24 flowers; pedicel filiform, up to 5 mm long; bracts linear-acuminate, 4 mm long.
  • Calyx campanulate, 7-11 mm long, hairy, with subequal triangular-acuminate lobes; corolla blue; standard elliptical to suborbicular, 14 mm in diameter; wings ovate-oblong, 13 mm × 6 mm; keel 12 mm × 6 mm, incurved in the middle.
  • Pod oblongoid, 3-5 cm × 0.8-1.2 cm, short stalked, about 16-seeded.
  • Seed heart-shaped, 3 mm in diameter, blackish.

C. verrucosa is found in fallow fields and on marshy ground, along rivers and roads, up to 1200 m altitude. It fixes nitrogen and is self-pollinating.

Selected sources

  • Backer, C.A. & Bakhuizen van den Brink Jr., R.C., 1963-1968. Flora of Java. 3 volumes. Wolters-Noordhoff, Groningen, the Netherlands. 647, 641, 761 pp.
  • Editorial Committee of the Flora of Taiwan (Editor), 1993-1994. Flora of Taiwan. 2nd Edition. Volumes 1 and 3. Epoch Publishing Company, Taipei, Taiwan. 648, 1084 pp.
  • Flora of Tropical East Africa (various editors), 1952-. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, London, United Kingdom & A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
  • Flore du Cambodge, du Laos et du Viêt-nam [Flora of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam] (various editors), 1960-. Volume 1-. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Laboratoire de Phanérogamie, Paris, France.
  • Hacker, J.B., 1990. A guide to herbaceous and shrub legumes of Queensland. University of Queensland Press, St. Lucia, Australia. 351 pp.
  • Lock, J.M., 1989. Legumes of Africa: a checklist. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, United Kingdom. 619 pp.
  • Polhill, R.M., 1982. Crotalaria in Africa and Madagascar. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. 389 pp.


  • M.S.M. Sosef & L.J.G. van der Maesen