Crotalaria capensis

Tree number: 225.12  
Family: Fabaceae
Common names: Cape rattle-pod (Eng.); Kaapse klapperpeul (Afr.)

This fast growing tree is aptly named the Cape rattle-pod because, as you walk through the paths at Kingfisher Creek, you can hear the dried pods which are almost ready to burst open and release their many seeds as they rattle in the wind. This small but fast-growing upright evergreen tree can reach a height up to 5m.

 The main stem is gracefully thin with drooping branches, while the new stems are velvety to the touch.  This tree is easily identifiable due to its large trifoliate leaves which are bright green above and blue-green beneath.  The flowers are a very striking bright yellow and are carried on long pendulous sprays.

A few of these trees have now been liberated from the invasive plants at Kingfisher Creek and are expected to thrive over the next few months, showing off their stunning colours and leaves in a freer way ?

The genus name Crotalaria is derived from the Greek word krotalon, which means castanet, alluding to the sound of the seeds rattling in the pods. The species name capensis means of the Cape.