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Crotalaria medicaginea Lam.
Family Fabaceae
Subfamily Faboideae
Common name: Trefoil Rattlepod

Crotalaria medicaginea Lam. APNI*

Description: Ascending or decumbent herb or subshrub, 30–60 cm high; stems usually ± appressed pubescent.

Leaves 3-foliolate; leaflets linear to obovate, 0.5–3.6 cm long, 1–10 mm wide, upper surface glabrous and minutely stippled, lower surface hoary or pubescent; petiole 4–15 mm long; stipules c. 1.5 mm long.

Racemes up to 17 cm long, 4–25-flowered; pedicels to 6 mm long. Calyx c. 4 mm long, pubescent. Corolla 4–12 mm long, yellow, often streaked with red; wings 4–8 mm long; keel with beak 3.5–10 mm long, twisted tightly at apex.

Pod 3–5 mm long, ± pubescent; seeds c. 2 mm long.


Flower
Photo J. & P. Edwards

Flowering: mostly autumn.

Distribution and occurrence: Usually on heavy soils, not common, north from Gunnedah and Port Macquarie.
NSW subdivisions: NC, NT, NWS
Other Australian states: Qld N.T. S.A. W.A.
AVH map***

A variable species in which flower size and stem pubescence appear to be correlated and may provide a basis for distinguishing infraspecific taxa.

Text by C. Gardner & G.J. Harden
Taxon concept:

N.S.W. occurrences are: var. neglecta

APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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