- Desert Senna (Senna covesii) is also sometimes called "rattlepod".
Some 500, including:
Crotalaria is a genus of herbaceous plants and woody shrubs in the Family Fabaceae (Subfamily Faboideae) commonly known as rattlepods. Some 600 or more species of Crotalaria are described worldwide, mostly from the tropics; at least 500 species are known from Africa. Some species of Crotalaria are grown as ornamentals. The common name rattlepod or rattlebox is derived from the fact that the seeds become loose in the pod as they mature, and rattle when the pod is shaken. The name derives from the Greek κροταλον, meaning "castanet", and is the same root as the name for the rattlesnakes (Crotalus).
Crotalaria species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Endoclita sericeus, Etiella zinckenella and Utetheisa ornatrix. The toxic alkaloids produced by some members of this genus are known to be incorporated by Utetheisia larvae and used to secure their defense from predators.
- Crotalaria spectabilis Roth was introduced to the US from India for green manure. As a legume that supports nitrogen fixing bacteria, it is considered a "soil builder." However, it is also poisonous to cattle (as are many legumes), and has spread rapidly throughout the Southeastern United States where it is now considered an invasive species.
Alkaloid monocrotaline, a pyrrolizidine alkaloid, the main toxic principle of Crotalaria spectabilis, is used to induce experimental pulmonary hypertension in laboratory animals. Larvae of the Ornate moth feed on the plant and re-purpose the poisonous compound as a defense, excreting it when they are threatened by potential predation.
- Crotalaria longirostrata, also known as "longbeak rattlebox" or "chipilín", is used as a leafy vegetable in Oaxaca and Central America. It is considered a weed in the United States.
- Crotalaria pallida pollen may cause an allergic reaction in humans, including swelling of the eyes and face, a rash on the neck and shoulders, and itching. Symptoms may take up to a week to clear.
- Thomas Eisner (2003). For the Love of Insects. Belknap Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01827-3.
- P. M. Werchan, W. R. Summer, A. M. Gerdes & K. H. McDonough (1989). "Right ventricular performance after monocrotaline-induced pulmonary hypertension". American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology 256: H1328–H1336. PMID 2524170.
- Kosanovic Djuro, Kojonazarov Baktybek et al. (2011). "Therapeutic efficacy of TBC3711 in monocrotaline-induced pulmonary hypertension.". Respiratory Research. 12:87.
- Crotalaria in West African plants – A Photo Guide.
- "Crotalaria". New International Encyclopedia. 1905.
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