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Rabbitbells
Crotalaria rotundifolia
Fabaceae


General Landscape Uses:

Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also wildflower and butterdly gardens.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

A common understory herb in a variety of open, upland ecosystems.
Availability:
Grown by enthusiasts.
Description:
Small herbaceous wildflower.
Dimensions:
Typically 3-6 inches in height. Spreading and forming small, open patches.
Growth Rate:
Moderate.
Range:
Southern and eastern United States west to Texas and south to the Monroe County Keys; West Indies, Mexico and Central America. In the Monroe County Keys, disjunct from Miami-Dade County to the pine rocklands of Big Pine Key.
Habitats:
Pinelands and open, coastal uplands.
Soils:
Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, without humus.
Nutritional Requirements:
Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
High; can tolerate moderate amounts of salt wind without injury.
Drought Tolerance:
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun.
Flower Color:
Yellow.
Flower Characteristics:
Semi-showy, about 5/16" long.
Flowering Season:
All year.
Fruit:
Brown inflated pod (legume). Seeds "rattle" when the fruit is ripe.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Larval host plant for ceraunus blue (Hemiargus ceraunus) butterflies.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seed.


 


Roger L. Hammer
Steven W. Woodmansee
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton