Crotalaria craspedocarpa R.Vig.
Crotalaria coursii is a perennial plant with stems that become more or less woody and persist; it can grow 100 - 150cm tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.
Crotalaria coursii is widespread and it occurs within protected areas. However, it has a small area of occupancy and it experiences continuing decline due to its habitat destruction by wildfires and grazing. The plant is classified as 'Near Threatened' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
No specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, but many members of this genus are known to contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids, the most potent of which in this genus are monocrotaline, retrorsine and retronecine[
]. These alkaloids have a cumulative effect upon the body and, unless concentrations in a plant are high, occasional consumption is generally completely safe. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are derived from amino acids including ornithine. Many of these alkaloids have pronounced hepatic toxicity, but the lungs and other organs may be affected as well. Mutagenic and carcinogenic activities of pyrrolizidine alkaloids have also been reported[
Africa - Madagascar
Subarid and subhumid grasslands, thickets, woodlands and anthropic areas; at elevations from 300 - 1,500 metres[
|Conservation Status||Near Threatened
Annual and short-lived perennial plants in this genus generally gow best in a sunny position, succeeding in most dry to moist, well-drained soils[
We have no specific report for this species, but most species in this genus have a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria; these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
The plant has medicinal uses[
]. No more information is given.
Seed - pre-soaking the seed for 12 hours in warm water can help to reduce germination time. If you have sufficient seed then it can be sown in situ. Otherwise sow in trays in a nursey and, when the seedlings are large enough to handle, pot them up into individual pots. Plant out when 15cm or more tall.
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