Crotolaria is a legume

Crotalaria (Crotalaria juncea)

The Crotalaria is a plant whose main function is to decorate terraces and gardens. Many of them with healing properties and diverse uses. However, in this case they are herbaceous species known by many names, with this being the most common.

We're going to talk a little bit about its origins first so you know where it came from and where to find it today. Therefore, we are also providing you with some key characteristics, some of the various uses of this plant, and other important points about the plant in question.


Origin of the Crotalaria species

For those who don't have the slightest knowledge of where the Crotalaria juncea, This is a plant that is native to two Asian countries: Pakistan and India. But as such, it has been planted in Southeast Asia for many centuries. And in contrast to the cultivation of other crops, this species is sown with the intention of obtaining green manure.

It is currently common in tropical and subtropical countries. It can be purchased in a number of different ways, but as such, the production and shipping of seeds comes from India, Hawaii, Colombia, and much of South Africa, as this is one of more than 400 spices that exist worldwide.


It is time to turn to the most characteristic features of the herbaceous plant. A) yes If you see one of the many species, you will know how to identify it and determine if it is Crotalaria juncea or not. This plant is a type of annual herb that grows in the form of a shrub.

It has lanceolate leavesand generally they grow no more than 13 cm and have a maximum width of 3.5 cm. The texture of the leaves feels like a hairy forearm.

also The Crotalaria shrub has a very strong root and these develop and expand horizontally. When the roots are old enough, they develop nodules that contain cowpea-like rhizobia.

As for the visible part, the branches often loosen half a meter from the ground. For sure, as long as the number of plants of the same species is not so high.

Depending on the growing conditions and the conditions of the days, The plant can offer you flowers after about 8 weeks. For example, if planted in Florida - USA in May, the plant will have flowers with an intense, showy yellow in early September.

You could say that This is a pretty humble plantbecause unlike other species that require soil rich in minerals and nutrients, as this plant does not need much of it. However, it has very high biological fixation potential.

also It is a plant that can produce large amounts of biomass. So it is not surprising that you see positive news and that the Crotalaria is the protagonist. Very few plants and shrub species benefit other plants.

Usually Dealing with weeds is the job of gardeners and people with natural spaces in their homesas it grows in such a way that weeds do not develop and the cover is such that it protects the soil from erosion.

Further Having a certain density of Crotalaria helps to have a lot more organic mattera, so that it can benefit the soil in question and recycle the nutrients from the surrounding soil. It should be noted that this is used on an industrial scale in some plantations to control pests while promoting microbiological activity.


Usage depends on the region you are in. For example, In Florida, Crotalaria is mainly used by horticulturalistsso that they can be used either as green manure or as a crop for summer and winter.

Thanks to the rapid production of biomass This system is introduced in production systems with short rotation in the state of Florida. On the other hand, in summer, or at least early in the season, in Homestead, sowing can reach heights of 2 meters in just two and a half months.

Therefore for this region, This plant is the favorite largely because of its insecticidal properties and weed control. In the case of Brazil, it is used in soybean plantations to control insects and other conditions that do not favor the plantation at all.

It is important to emphasize at this point that Not all have the same properties against pathogens. For this reason, it is recommended that an analysis of the rotation of each system and / or region be carried out. This will help prevent the plant itself from multiplying the pathogen in question and doing the opposite of what we were talking about.

Other Alternative Uses You Should Know About

  • High quality forage plants.
  • It is used as hay when they are not green.
  • Useful for clothing and rope use.
  • It is used as food for pigs and horses as long as it is the seed of Crotalaria.
  • The system can handle large amounts of nitrogen very well.

Since it is an herbaceous species, The main application is focused on plantations. Well, in order to sow and produce healthy and strong bushes, the seeds must be placed very flat in the ground, and the ambient temperature must be no more than 21 ° and 38 ° C.

The humidity together with the heat favor the growth of this species enormously. Although a more stable climate and a little cooleralso allows Crotalaria to grow. The difference, however, is that it will be very slow and it is more likely that they will be injured and / or die from a pathogen.

Hence, if the soil on which you are going to sow it is not very fertile, you should not worry. As we said well This is a plant that doesn't need a lot of nutrients and minerals grow in the ground. What if the soil needs to have a good drainage system and no alkaline and / or sodium-containing properties?

The truth is that This is a plant that proves everything. If you have, or intend to have, a plantation, then you should study and consider the possibility of implementing shrubs from Crotalaria juncea.