Queensland Native Seeds

Crotalaria mitchellii subsp. laevis

Scientific NameCrotalaria mitchellii subsp. laevis
CategoriesForbNitrogen Fixer
Common Name(s)
FamilyFabaceae, Subfamily Faboideae


"Erect perennial shrub, c. 1 m high;..." (PlantNet)


Crotalaria mitchellii has two subspecies, subsp. mitchellii and subsp. laevis, both having similar distributions. Whilst both taxa occur on light-textured soils, the subsp. laevis has been known to grow on basaltic soils. Crotalaria mitchellii subsp. laevis has leaves measuring 1-1.5cm across and mostly glabrous stems however these distinctions should be studied more thoroughly in authoritative references such as those below. Crotalaria novae-hollandiae is another native rattlepod which may be confused with C. mitchelli subsp. laevis, however the latter species produces petioles measuring 3-5mm whilst the petioles of C. novae-hollandiae measure 5-20mm in length.

Nitrogen fixing forbs such as Crotalaria species are potentially very useful in rehabilitation projects though currently very difficult to obtain. In many cases wild stands are under pressure and removing their seed may be unhelpful to the cause of conservation. In our area are several previous herbarium sampling sites where Crotalaria mitchellii has been outcompeted by Eragrostis curvula (African Lovegrass) and other weeds on granitic soils.

We are testing the culture of such plants, including Crotalaria, for seed production. In this manner appropriate forms can be selected from desireable sites, edaphic factors all considered, and parent stocks can be otherwsie left undisturbed to continue living and reproducing in their wild habitats.

Historical Notes


From Newcastle in New South Wales, to Townsville in northern Queensland. Occurs inland also reaching west to Tregole National Park west of Morven, Qld.

Distribution Map | Crotalaria mitchellii subsp. laevis | Queensland Native Seeds

Crotalaria mitchellii subsp. laevis | habit | Queensland Native Seeds
Crotalaria mitchellii subsp. laevis | habit | Queensland Native Seeds
Crotalaria mitchellii subsp. laevis | fruit | Queensland Native Seeds
Crotalaria mitchellii subsp. laevis | habit, fruit | Queensland Native Seeds

References and Related Links

PlantNET (The NSW Plant Information Network System). Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, Sydney. http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au [Accessed: Jan 22, 2021]


Stanley, T.D. and Ross, E.M. (1983). Flora of south-eastern Queensland, Vol. 1, Queensland Department of Primary Industries, Brisbane. p. 275, Crotalaria mitchellii.