Showy Rattlebox

Biological Name:

Crotalaria sagittalis (Showy-Rattlebox)

Natural Habitat:

Showy-Rattlebox: Fields and meadows, North America


Showy-Rattlebox also known as Crotalaria is a plant that is native to grassland and prairie regions of North America. It is an annual herb that can grow up to three feet tall and it has large oval-shaped leaves and showy yellow or orange flowers that bloom in the summer. The plant is known for its distinctive seedpods which rattle when shaken and it is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens and landscapes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Is showy rattlebox poisonous?
A: Is Showy Crotalaria (aka “Rattlebox”) poisonous to horses? Showy crotalaria is toxic to horses. All portions of the plant (whether alive or dead and baled in hay) are toxic, with the seeds being the most toxic.

Q: Is yellow rattle poisonous to sheep?
A: Although, yellow rattle has been suspected of being poisonous to livestock, there is very little evidence that this is actually the case, even when it is abundant in hay.

Q: Is Crotalaria poisonous to cows?
A: Crotalaria striata D. C. and C. incana L. have been indicated as possibly toxic to cattle, sheep, and goats in certain countries, but have not been observed to be injurious in the United States.

Q: Is Lily of the valley poisonous to goats?
A: Several ornamental plants that are green outdoors or indoors are highly toxic. Goats should not be fed clippings from ornamental plants. Common poisonous ornamentals are yew, delphinium, oleander, larkspur and lily-of-the-valley. Goats should not be allowed access to these plants.

Q: What is showy rattlebox used for?
A: spectabilis plant are used as traditional medicines to treat impetigo, scabies, intestinal worms, and as an antiseptic for wounds (Francis 2002). The name “rattlebox”” refers to the rattling of the seeds in the pods once they dry (Francis 2002).”

Q: Is rattlebox plant invasive?
A: It was for this purpose that showy rattlebox was introduced to the U.S. in the early 1900s, as a nitrogen-fixing cover crop. Since then, it has gotten out of hand and become labeled as a noxious or invasive weed in the Southeast, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.

Q: Is Crotalaria edible?
A: The leaves and flowers are edible. The plant is widely grown in the tropics as a green manure, often as a cover crop.

Q: What is the scientific name for showy Rattlebox?
A: showy rattlebox, Crotalaria spectabilis Fabales: Fabaceae.

Q: What is a showy plant?
A: 6 letter answer(s) to showy plant ORCHID. any of numerous plants of the orchid family usually having flowers of unusual shapes and beautiful colors.

Q: How do I get rid of Crotalaria?
A: Unfortunately, there is no treatment for Crotalaria toxicity. If you suspect that your horse may have grazed on Crotalaria, bloodwork can help determine if there is liver damage. The best prevention, however, is removal of the weed from livestock pastures.

Q: Is showy rattlebox native to Florida?
A: Showy crotalaria, is a flowering plant in the Fabaceae (bean) family. It is an annual herbaceous plant that blooms from August to November. Although it is nonnative to the United States, it was introduced to the southeast United States from the tropics. It spans from Virginia south to Florida and west to Texas.

Q: Is Rattlebox poisonous to humans?
A: This plant should be consumed only in moderation. Avoid ingesting the seeds, as they are toxic.

Q: Is Arctic Rattlebox poisonous?
A: Rattlebox contains a type of pyrrolizidine alkaloid toxin. The alkaloids are metabolized in the liver which produces cytotoxic effects.

Q: Are Beggarticks invasive?
A: White beggar-ticks is an annual originating in tropical America. It has become invasive throughout much of the world. The seeds have long, barbed awns that aid in dispersal by clinging to clothing and fur.

Q: Is Florida Tasselflower invasive?
A: Currently, E. fosbergii is listed as invasive in Mexico, Central America, West Indies, and on several islands in the Pacific Ocean (see Distribution Table for details).

Q: What are the purple wildflowers in Florida?
A: Jacaranda is one of the botanical treasures of Central and South Florida. It grows as a delicate, deciduous, spreading tree. Its fern-like foliage provides light, dappled shade, perfect for patios. The trumpet-shaped flowers emerge in clusters of lavender, violet, purple, or white.

Q: What are the pink wildflowers in Florida?
A: Also known as largeflower rosegentian, marsh-pink is a beautiful herbaceous wildflower found in moist, open areas throughout Florida. Its showy blooms are comprised of five bright pink petals. The base of each petal is yellow with a red outline; they come together to form a star in the center of the bloom.

Q: Can you eat smooth Rattlebox?
A: At the same time, smooth rattlebox has been used for food and medicine in various places. The seeds are boiled for several hours, wrapped in banana leaves and left to ferment to remove the poisons. The resulting product is called dage. Roasted seeds are used to make “coffee

About the author

Samuel is a gardening professional and enthusiast who has spent over 20 years advising homeowners and farm owners on weed identification, prevention and removal. He has an undergraduate degree in plant and soil science from Michigan State University.