Crotalaria lanata Bedd.
Crotalaria lunata Bedd. ex Polhill
Crotalaria beddomeana is an erect, much-branched perennial plant growing 3 - 4.5 metres tall.
The plant is used to provide shade in tea and coffee plantations. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental[
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 India (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Orissa, Tamil Nadu)
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental
Species in this genus generally thrive in a wide range of well-drained soils and a sunny position[
This species has at times been misidentified as Crotalaria semperflorens Vent.[
We have no specific report for this species, but most species in this genus have 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[
A fast-growing species that fixes atmospheric nitrogent. It is used as a shade shrub in tea and coffee plantations, especially in the highlands of New Guinea, Sri Lanka[
Seed - stored seed has a hard seedcoat and can benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve germination[
]. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing.
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