Crotalaria luxurians Benth.
Crotalaria neglecta Wight & Arn.
Crotalaria medicaginea is a prostrate to erect perennial plant with slender, branched stems that can become more or less woody and persist; it can grow 15 - 50cm tall[
]. The plant grows from a thick rootstock, often forming a large, flat rosette of growth.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.
No specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, but many members of this genus are known to contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids, the most potent of which in this genus are monocrotaline, retrorsine and retronecine[
]. These alkaloids have a cumulative effect upon the body and, unless concentrations in a plant are high, occasional consumption is generally completely safe. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are derived from amino acids including ornithine. Many of these alkaloids have pronounced hepatic toxicity, but the lungs and other organs may be affected as well. Mutagenic and carcinogenic activities of pyrrolizidine alkaloids have also been reported[
E. Asia - southern China, Afghanistan, Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea, Australia
Seashore sandy areas, grassy slopes, along trails; at elevations around 100 - 280 metres[
]. Open places and disturbed areas in deciduous dipterocarp, mixed deciduous, evergreen forests and limestone mountains, at elevations to 2,000 metres[
Species in this genus generally thrive in a wide range of well-drained soils and a sunny position[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria; these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
The plant is bitter and expectorant. It is used to help expel bile and phlegm[
The juice of the leaves is said to reduce salivation. It is used both internally and externally in the treatment of scabies and impetigo[
A paste of the leaf is taken with milk to treat white discharge
Seed - pre-soaking the seed for 12 hours in warm water can help to reduce germination time. If you have sufficient seed then it can be sown in situ. Otherwise sow in trays in a nursey and, when the seedlings are large enough to handle, pot them up into individual pots. Plant out when 15cm or more tall.
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