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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.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

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.

References: Hammer 2004

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

Copyright by: Jay Horn via iNaturalist

Other data on Crotalaria pumila available from:

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