Crotalaria decaryana is a perennial plant with stems that become more or less woody and persist; it can grow 1 - 3 metres tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.
Crotalaria decaryana is widespread and occurs within protected areas. However, it has a small area of occupancy and it experiences a continuing decline due to its habitat destruction caused 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 - southern Madagascar
Subarid thickets and woodlands; at elevations up to 500 metres[
|Conservation Status||Near Threatened
Plants in this genus generally prefer a sunny position, succeeding in 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 is used medicinally[
]. No more information is given.
Seed - stored seed has a hard seedcoat and can benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve germination[
]. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing.
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.