Crotalaria incana (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Crotalaria incana L.

Family: Leguminosae - Papilionoideae


Crotalaria pubescens Moench.

Vernacular names

  • Woolly rattlepod (En)
  • Indonesia: orok-orok kebo (Java), jojorore (Ternate)
  • Philippines: balai laua, putok-putokan (Tagalog)
  • Thailand: hingmen-luang.


Occurring naturally in tropical South America and the Caribbean, now pantropical, including South-East Asia.


Green manure, promising in coffee. It is found as a weed in oil-palm and rubber plantations. Cattle avoid eating it. Its cultivation was discontinued in Bogor, Indonesia, because it was attacked by insects. Toxins include pyrolizidine alkaloids. Flowers and unripe fruits are used as abortifacient in Paraguay, where the pods are a magic cure for mute and stuttering children.


Annual, variable, bushy herb up to 1.5(-3.5) m tall and variously hairy. Leaves trifoliolate; stipules filiform, up to 2 cm long; petiole usually longer than leaflets; leaflets obovate, elliptical or rounded, 2.5-5 cm × 1.7-4.4 cm, thinly hairy below. Inflorescence a lax raceme, 10-30 cm long, 12-30(-60)-flowered; calyx 7-11 mm long, subglabrous to hairy, lobes about twice as long as the tube; standard elliptical, yellow, reddish-brown or purple veined, subglabrous; wings as long as the keel, 8-11.5 mm long; keel bent at a right angle in lower half, woolly hairy on the upper margin. Pod spindle or club-shaped, subsessile, 3-4.5 cm × 8-12 mm, hairy, 40-50-seeded. Seed obliquely heart-shaped, about 3 mm long, smooth or faintly papillose, pale brown, olive-green or mottled. C. incana is found in deciduous bushland, grassland, dry stream beds, river banks and as a weed in fields and waste places, usually preferring moist sites, up to 2300 m altitude.

Selected sources

8, 27, 48, 52, 53, 62, 70, 126, 170.


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