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Low rattlebox
Crotalaria pumila

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

General Landscape Uses: Wildflower and rock gardens.

Ecological Restoration Notes: A frequent understory wildlflower in open coastal area; rarer inland.

Availability: Grown by enthusiasts.

Description: Small creeping herb with attractive clusters of yellow flowers.

Dimensions: Typically 3-6 inches tall. Spreading and forming small, open patches.

Growth Rate: Fast.

Range: Eastern peninsular Florida from the Monroe County Keys north to Brevard County; West Indies, southwestern United States, Mexico, Central America and South America; perhaps escaped from cultivation in Sarasota County and elsewhere. Very rare in the Monroe County Keys.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Pinelands, beach dunes and coastal thickets.

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: Secondary line; tolerates significant salt wind without injury, but usually is somewhat protected.

Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: Yellow with red stripes.

Flower Characteristics: Showy clusters.

Flowering Season: All year.

Fruit: Brown inflated pod (legume). Seeds "rattle" when the fruit is ripe.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed.

Comments: A good plant for open, disturbed sites near the coast.

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: James Johnson, 2014
In habitat, Everglades National Park, Florida

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Other data on Crotalaria pumila available from:

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