Canary Bird Bush, Rattlebox

Crotalaria agatiflora

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Crotalaria (kroh-tuh-LAR-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: agatiflora (ag-at-ih-FLOR-a) (Info)



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)


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

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Albany, California

Belmont, California

Berkeley, California

Clayton, California

Encinitas, California

Long Beach, California

San Diego, California

Santa Barbara, California

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 30, 2017, Niodrara from Budapest,
Hungary wrote:

The Canary Bird Bush grew and thrived in my grandparents' garden in Long Beach, California, eight blocks from the Pacific Ocean, for years.


On May 2, 2010, RvDruten from Johannesburg,
South Africa wrote:

This last season (Summer) in Johannesburg I propagated sixteen canary bird bushes from the seeds harvested from of our first bush.. The exercise was a great success. Now, at fall, they are all three feet high and a few flowered in the first season. The original bush is ten feet tall after three seasons, and is an absolutely beautiful sight in our garden. The root system seems fragile as at one stage strong winds pushed it over, but the soil was soaked after much rain. I repositioned and supported the stem, and it is now flourishing. Perhaps I had planted it too shallow?.
I am however mortified to read in your description of the plant that all parts are poisonous!. This is bad news as we have a standing policy in our garden not to have anything that can be ingested by infants of visi... read more


On Nov 18, 2007, macybee from Deer Park, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Botanica Encyclopedia
CROTALARIA - Rattlebox
This large genus of legumes consists of around 600 species, occurring in most warmer regions of the world but with the great majority confined to Africa and Madagascar. They include annuals as well as evergreen perennials, subshrubs and shrubs. The leaves are simple, or compound with 3 leaflets and the flowers are of the pea-type, from medium-sized to quite large and mostly yellow to greenish yellow. The hard, inflated seed pods are a distinctive feature of the genus, with loose rattling seeds at maturity that give them their common name--- when the seeds have dried out they rattle inside the pods.
They are nearly all frost-tender plants and need a sheltered location in full sun and moderately rich, well-... read more


On Jun 11, 2006, Yce from San Diego, CA wrote:

Just got this plant from City Farmers off Home Ave. Not much experience with this but LOVED the way it blooms - like a yellow erythrina. Anyone here have any experience with it in a coastal exposure? Would love to use it in future designs.