Grows in the Kalahari on bare patches against the higher sand dune slopes. Also on old lands and over-grazed areas. Problem in Kuruman area.
Botanical description: General: A dense, much branched bottle-green shrub, ±1,5 m high with almost leafless branches which are finely hairy at the tips. It has the appearance of an implanted tuft of grass in the sand and only lives for two to three years.
Leaves: Very narrow leaves are carried on short leaf stalks. Soon deciduous.
Flowers: Solitary flowers borne near the tips of the branches. Bright yellow with fine dark lines. Calyx finely hairy. Early summer, depending on the rainfall.
Pods: Short, roundish pod, 10-12 cm long containing five to six flat, kidney-shaped seeds.
The active principles of Crotalaria spp. worldwide are the pyrrolizidine alkaloids (dicrotaline, monocrotaline) mainly responsible for severe liver and/or lung damage in stock.
Hepatotoxic syndrome without photosensitisation
Liver and respiratory system.
Crotalariosis: similar to bovine seneciosis (6 months or longer latent period).
Colour photos. Final web-ready size: JPEG. Photo 1: 17.1 kb, 72 ppi; Photo 2: 45.5 kb, 1350 ppi; Photo 3: 7.2 kb, 72 ppi. Original TIFF file housed at the Dept. of Paraclinical Sciences, Section Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Pretoria.