Crotalaria pallida

Crotalaria pallida, commonly known as the smooth crotalaria, is a species of flowering plant within the family Fabaceae.[1][2]

Synonyms and common names

Synonyms are Crotalaria mucronata Desc, Crotalaria striata DC, Crotalaria falcata VAHL ex DC, Crotalaria brownei DC., Crotalaria fertilis Delile, Crotalaria hookeri Arn., Crotalaria pisiformis Guill. & Perr., Crotalaria siamica F.N.Williams, Crotalaria striata var. acutifolia Trin., Crotalaria tinctoria Baill, Crotalaria zuccarininana D.Dietr.[3][1][2] The preferred common name is crotalaria, with other common names including striped rattlepod and crotalaire striée.[2]


This shrub (annual or short-lived perennial herb) has height of about 1.5 m. The stout stem is hairy and has longitudinal grooves. Leaves are trifoliate with a 2–8.5 cm long petiole, leaflets 3-13 x 2–5 cm and elliptical to obovate. Flowers are yellow, often reddish-brown veined and borne on 15–40 cm long racemes, each with 20-30 flowers. Fruits are 3-5 x 0.6-0.8 cm, 30-40 seeded that are heart-shaped, 3 x 2 mm, shiny, mottled ochre and dark grey-green or brown.[4]


Crotalaria pallida is found in Indonesia, Sudan, United States (Florida, Puerto Rico), Brazil,[2] India, and Bangladesh


The plant is grown as a ground cover and a green manure crop, especially in the inter-rows of rubber trees and coconut palms. Flowers are eaten as a vegetable in Cambodia, where the seeds are roasted and grounded for use as a sort of coffee beverage. The roots are sometimes chewed with betel nuts in Vietnam. In traditional medicine, the plant is used to treat urinary problems and fever, a poultice of the roots is applied to swelling of joints and an extract of the leaves is taken to expel intestinal worms.[4][5]

Crotalaria mucronata Desv was reported to be widely used in the southern part of the US as a green manure crop under the name “giant striata”.


  1. ^ a b Jesse Wagstaff, D (2008-07-07). International Poisonous Plants Checklist. CRC Press. doi:10.1201/9781420062533. ISBN 9781420062526.
  2. ^ a b c d "Crotalaria pallida (smooth crotalaria)". CABI. 2019-11-25. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  3. ^ "Crotalaria pallida Aiton". India Biodiversity Portal. 8 November 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Crotalaria pallida Aiton". KewScience, Plants of the World. 2017. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  5. ^ Chong, K. Y., H. T. W. Tan & R. T. Corlett, 2009. A Checklist of the Total Vascular Plant Flora of Singapore: Native, Naturalised and Cultivated Species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, Singapore. 273 pp.