One of the most conspicuous flowering shrubs seen along roadsides and the banks of rivers and lakes around this time of the year is the Rattlepod. Belonging to the genus Crotalaria, these are woody shrubs and there are about 600 or more species, mostly from the tropics. I had posted a picture of the yellow blooms recently and Ginny of Let Your Light Shine had asked me why they were called so.
The common name 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 is derived from a Greek word meaning castanet and is the same root as the name for the rattlesnakes (Crotalus).
The flowers are favoured by carpenter bees. They also attract butterflies like the Tigers and the Crows. The blooms are a source of an essential alkaloid essential for their reproduction. The above picture shows a Plain Tiger butterfly on the blooms.
One of the Blues did not seem to mind my presence at all!
And finally, the dried pods that make the rattling sound.
Some of the facts about butterflies and the plant have been taken from the book Common Indian Wild Flowers by Isaac Kehimkar. It’s a joy to photograph wildflowers and a reference book is most essential.