Flax-Leaf Rattlepod
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Flax-Leaf Rattlepod
A Native Photo: S. Kasim
Common name: Flax-Leaf Rattlepod, Narrow-leaved Crotalaria • Telugu: Nallagiri giligichha
Botanical name: Crotalaria linifolia    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Crotalaria caespitosa, Crotalaria diffusa, Crotalaria tecta

Flax-Leaf Rattlepod is an erect annual herb, 0.5-1 m tall. Stems are little-branched, densely tawny-velvet-hairy; leaves simple, nearly stalkless, the blade linear, 2-3.5 cm long, 3 mm wide, blunt and shortly apiculate at tip, wedge-shaped to blunt at base, densely velvet-hairy and paler beneath, less so above. Leaves remind one of Flax leaves, hence the species name linifolia. Flowers are borne at branch-ends or in leaf-axils, in racemes which are elongate, laxly-flowered. Flowers are yellow, short-stalked, about 5 mm long; calyx densely velvet-hairy, the sepals lanceshaped, pointed, not accrescent in fruit; flower scarcely longer than the calyx, hairless; ovary hairless, stalkless. Pod ovoid, straight, equaling or slightly exceeding the calyx, black, hairless. Flax-Leaf Rattlepod is found in Tropical Asia to Australia.

Identification credit: S. Kasim Photographed in Yelagiri Hills, Vellore, Tamil Nadu.

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