Deccan Rattlepod
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Deccan Rattlepod
P Native Photo: S. Kasim
Common name: Deccan Rattlepod
Botanical name: Crotalaria leschenaultii    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)

Deccan Rattlepod is a herb, up to 1 m tall, stems round, striped, densely appressed-velvet-hairy, internode 1-2 cm long. Leaves are simple, inverted-lanceshaped, 5-9.5 x 2.5-4.5 cm, narrowly wedge-shaped at base, entire at margins, blunt, apiculate with a short sharp point at tip; lateral nerves about 11, upper hairless, lower densely silky velvet-hairy; leaf-stalks about 5 mm long, sparsely velvet-hairy. Stipules are small, linear or ovate or lanceshaped, 1-2 cm long, pointed-tapering at tip, sparsely velvet-hairy. Flowers are borne in racemes at branch-ends, 7-22 cm long. Flowers are 14-25, about 1.7 cm long; flower-stalk 4-10 mm long, bracts ovate, about 6 mm long, reflexed, fringed with hairs at margins, tapering at tip, upper velvet-hairy, lower hairless or minutely velvet-hairy; bracteoles linear-subulate, below the middle half of the pedicle, velvet-hairy both sides. Sepal-cup is 5-lobed, tube about 5 mm long, sepals ovate-lanceshaped, pointed-tapering at tip, upper minutely, appressed-velvet-hairy, lower hairless. Flowers are yellow, protruding; standard petals round or broadly ovate-heart-shaped, about 2.5 cm across, tinged outside with red or brown with light yellow, inside purple striped, notched, notched at tip; wings broadly oblong, blunt, 24 x 9 mm long at tip; keles oblong, 24 x 8 mm long, blunt at tip, hairless. Pods are cylindric, oblong, 4-5 cm long, brownish black when mature, stalk thick, about 1 cm long; seeds 6-21, kidney-shaped, brownish, about 0.2 mm across, shiny, hairless. Deccan Rattlepod is native to Eastern and Western Ghats. Flowering: December-April.

Identification credit: S. Kasim Photographed in Tamil Nadu.

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