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Crotalaria species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Endoclita sericeus, Etiella zinckenella and Utetheisa ornatrix. The toxic alkaloids produced by some members of this genus are known to be incorporated by Utetheisia larvae and used to secure their defense from predators.The wild and domesticated landraces of Crotalaria tetragona, colloquially known as “Tum-thang,” are grown and eaten by the tribal communities of the Mizoram state of North-east India. The flowers and pods of Crotalaria tetragona are eaten as vegetables, the flowers and buds are used as garnishing, and the seeds are eaten as pulse.Crotalária is a Latin American comic that became an online sensation thanks to its visceral, grotesque illustrations that are simultaneously funny and grotesque. Maybe you’ve seen something similar on 4chan.
The genus includes over 700 species of herbaceous plants and shrubs. Africa is the continent with the majority of Crotalaria species (approximately 400 species), which are mainly found in damp grassland, especially in floodplains, depressions and along edges of swamps and rivers, but also in deciduous bush land, roadsides and fields. Some species of Crotalaria are grown as ornamentals. The common name rattlepod or rattlebox is derived from the fact that the seeds become loose in the pod as they mature, and rattle when the pod is shaken. The name derives from the Ancient Greek κρÏŒταλον, meaning "castanet", and is the same root as the name for the rattlesnakes (Crotalus).Crotalaria longirostrata, also known as longbeak rattlebox or chipilín, is found in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Oaxaca and is a popular addition to many local dishes.
Crotalaria seeds may be a contaminant of grains. The seeds of Crotalaria spp. remain viable for 40 years or more. References 1. Stegelmeier BL et al. Pyrrolizidine alkaloid plants, metabolism and toxicity. J Natural Toxins 1999, 8: 95-116. 2. Nobre VMT et al. Acute intoxication by Crotalaria retusa in sheep. Toxicon 2005, 45:347-352. 3. Williams MC, Molyneux RJ. Occurrence, Concentration, and Toxicity of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in Crotalaria Seeds. Weed Science 1987: 35, 476-481. 4. Allen JR, Childs GR, Cravens WW. Crotalaria spectabilis toxicity in chickens. Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine 1960:104, 434-436. 5. John CP, Sangster LT, Jones OH. Crotalaria spectablis poisoning in swine. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1974; 165: 633-638 (Source: csuvth.colostate.edu)