Kurisumala Rattlepod
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Kurisumala Rattlepod
P Native Photo: S. Kasim
Common name: Kurisumala Rattlepod
Botanical name: Crotalaria multiflora var. kurisumalayana    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Crotalaria kurisumalayana

Kurisumala Rattlepod is a prostrate, short lived perennial herb with a few, long, slender, arcuate branches reaching 15-30 cm long. It is named after Kurisumala, the peak of Vagamon hills in Kottayam District of Kerala. Stems and branches are round, bristly. Leaves are simple, nearly stalkless; leaf-stalks 1-2 mm long; blade 2.2-2.5 2-2.2 cm, elliptic, ovate to obovate, nearly round, rarely ovate, base and tip more or less rounded, hairless above and finely velvet-hairy beneath; stipules 1-2 mm long, lanceshaped, deflexed. Flowers are borne in racemes at branch-ends and leaf opposed, 10-15 cm long, lax, 2-8 flowered. Flowers are 2-2.2 x 2.2-2.5 cm, showy. Calyx is 5-lobed; sepals 17 x 5 mm, lanceshaped, finely velvet-hairy outside, broad purple streaks along the margin; two upper lobes fused basally. Flowers are sulphur-yellow, standard petal 2.5 2 cm, round, slightly retuse at the tip, with two basal appendages at the base; wing petals 2 x 1 cm, obovate, base narrowed, tip rounded; keel petals 1.7 0.8 cm, rounded about the middle, wooly along the inner margin, beak twisted to 180 degree. Pods are 3.5 x 0.8 cm, oblong, much inflated, silky, ferruginous, 10-12 seeded. Kurisumala Rattlepod is endemic to Kerala, part of Southern Western Ghats. Flowering: September-May.

Identification credit: S. Kasim, M.V. Krishnaraj Photographed in Wagaman, Kerala.

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