Eastern Rattlepod
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Eastern Rattlepod
ative Photo: Krishan Lal
Common name: Eastern Rattlepod • Nepali: भुगन Bhugan
Botanical name: Crotalaria tetragona    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Crotalaria grandiflora, Crotalaria esquirolii

Eastern Rattlepod is an erect herb, up to 2 m tall. Branches are 4-angled, silky velvety. Stipules are linear to linear-lanceshaped, 4-5 mm. Leaves are sim­ple, carried on about 4 mm long stalks. Leaves are oblong-elliptic to linear-lan­ceshaped, 10-20 cm long, 1-2.5 cm wide, both surfaces finely velvety, midvein pale and prominent on the underside, base broadly wedge-shaped to broad, tip pointed to somewhat long-pointed. Flowers are borne in racemes at branch ends or leaf-opposed, 6-10-flowered. Bracts are lanceshaped, 4-6 mm. Flower-stalks are 1-1.5 cm. Bracteoles are inserted at tip of flower-staks, linear, 3-4 mm. Sepal tube is 2-lipped, 1.5-2.5 cm, divided to near base, densely brown hairy, lower sepals narrowly triangular-lanceshaped, fused for about 1/4 of length, 4-5 mm wide at base. Upper sepals are similar, divided to near base. Flowers are yellow, pea-shaoped. Stan­dard petal is circular to oblong, about 2.5 cm, base with 2 appen­dages. Wings are narrowly elliptic to lanceolate-elliptic, about 2 cm; keel about as long as wings, broad and rounded, lower margin woolly, beak long, twisted, and protruding beyond calyx. Seed-pod is oblong, 4-5 cm, 10-20-seeded, densely brownish yellow pubescent. Eastern Rattlepod is found in the Himalayas, from Kumaun to Bhutan, Assam, SE Asia and China, at altitudes of 200-1700 m. Flowering: September-November.

Identification credit: Krishan Lal Photographed in Sirmaur Distt, Himachal Pradesh.

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