Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Crotolaria, Rattlebox, Rattleweed, Cat's Bell
Crotalaria spectabilis

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Crotalaria (kroh-tuh-LAR-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: spectabilis (speck-TAB-ih-liss) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

12 members have or want this plant for trade.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter
Mid Winter

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Floridian
Thumbnail #1 of Crotalaria spectabilis by Floridian

By willbike
Thumbnail #2 of Crotalaria spectabilis by willbike

By willbike
Thumbnail #3 of Crotalaria spectabilis by willbike

By onalee
Thumbnail #4 of Crotalaria spectabilis by onalee

By TamiMcNally
Thumbnail #5 of Crotalaria spectabilis by TamiMcNally

By s_neubaum
Thumbnail #6 of Crotalaria spectabilis by s_neubaum

By artcons
Thumbnail #7 of Crotalaria spectabilis by artcons

There are a total of 13 photos.
Click here to view them all!


1 positive
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative roxy123 On Jun 24, 2012, roxy123 from Port Orchard, WA wrote:

I bought some pasture seed from Oregon and put all of it in one pasture. I got a hole pasture of nothing but this nasty rattle weed which is poisnes to my animals, (horses, dogs, cats). I want to know how to get rid of this stuff fast. I live in the WA area.

Positive Maudie On Apr 13, 2003, Maudie from Harvest, AL wrote:

This plant does well in Zone 8; is very attractive, long blooming and reseeds abundantly. Harvest the seed from pods along the stems when dry enough to "rattle" or they will pop open and fall to the ground. This plant replaces nitrogen to the soil. It does not reuire a lot of water and is heat tolerant. Overall a good plant for yellow blooms over a long period.

Neutral Floridian On Nov 20, 2001, Floridian from Lutz, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is an upright growing summer annual. The stems are coarse and well branched. Leaves are trifoliate, the leaflets varying in shape from linear to ovate. Crotalaria are adapted only to warm climates with a long growing season. Widely distributed from Florida to Texas in coastal plain and piedmont; abundant along roadsides and in fields.

All parts of the plant are poisonous, whether green or dried in hay. The seeds are especially poisonous. Chickens, horses, cattle and swine are the species usually affected, but sheep, goats, mules and dogs can be affected to a lesser degree. Poisoning occurs from consuming the green plant, hay contaminated with crotalaria, or dried seed in harvested grain.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Jones, Alabama
Bartow, Florida
Brooksville, Florida
Chipley, Florida
Deland, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Largo, Florida
New Port Richey, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Satellite Beach, Florida
Trenton, Florida
Wauchula, Florida
Williston, Florida
Winter Garden, Florida
Hortense, Georgia
Rincon, Georgia
Barbourville, Kentucky
Greer, South Carolina
Port Orchard, Washington

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America