Flower Color: Low Rattlebox has yellow or orange-yellow flowers with small red lines as shown above; the fruit is a pod.
Flowering Season: August to October; January to September in Texas.
Elevation: 4,000 to 6,000 feet (1,219 - 1,829 m).
Habitat Preferences: Sandy soil.
Recorded Range:Crotalaria pumila has an interesting distribution in the United States where it is found in the southwestern states of AZ, NM, UT and TX, but also occurs in FL and MD. It is also native to northern and central Mexico.
In the southwestern United States, Low Rattlebox is found in central and southern Arizona, far southwest New Mexico and extreme west Texas.
North America species range map for Low Rattlebos, Crotalaria pumila:
Click image for full size map.
U.S. Weed Information: Unknown
Threatened/Endangered Information: Unknown
Wetland Indicator: Unknown
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: The state of Arkansas considers all members of the genus Crotalaria as noxious weeds.
Genus Information: In North America, USDA Plants Database lists approximately 55 species for Crotalaria. Worldwide, World Flora Online includes 1,486 accepted species names and a further 87 scientific names of infraspecific rank for the genus.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 2 species of genus, California, Nevada and Utah have 0 species, New Mexico has 1 species and Texas has 6 species. Data approximate, subject to revision.
Comments: Low Rattlebox is a high desert species. Field specimens of Crotalaria pumila very greatly between plants.
Importance to Wildlife, Birds and Livestock
Low Rattlebox, Crotalaria pumila, has attractive flowers, the flowers, their seeds and plants may be visited by hummingbirds and/or small mammals including rodents and granivorous birds in search of food, nectar and protection through cover.
Beneficial Value to Butterflies, Honey Bees and Insects
Low Rattlebox, Crotalaria pumila, has attractive flowers, the flowers and their plants may be visited or used by butterflies, moths, flies, honeybees, native bees and other insects in search of nectar, food or shelter and protection.
The genus “Crotalaria” is from the Greek word "drotalon" meaning a rattle or clapper.