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Family Leguminosae / Fabaceae
Crotalaria quinquefolia Linn.

Scientific names Common names
Crotalaria quinquefolia Linn. Buli-lawa (Tag.)
Crotalaria heterophylla L.f. Katanda (Tag.)
  Palpaltog (Tag.)
  Putokan (Tag.)
  Suso-susoyan (Tag.)
  Susoi (Tag.)
  Fiveleaf crotalaria (Engl.)
  Rattlebox (Engl.)
  Wild wetland sannhemp (Engl.)
Putokan is a local name shared by (1) Crotalaria retusa, kalog-kalog (2) Crotalaria quinquefolia, suso-susoyan,and (3) Physalis angulata, putokan.
Crotalaria quinquefolia L. is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
FRENCH: Crotalaire á cinq feuilles.
INDIA: Kambe, Kambi, Neerugili gichha, wellia-tandale-cotti.
OTHERS: Sen, Sonnette, Tcha-tach.

Gen info
The genus Crotalaria comprises about 600 species distributed throughout the tropics and subtropical regions of the world.

Suso-susoyan is an annual herbaceous weed, differing from related species in having palmately compound leaves of five leaflets. Pods are bigger, about 7 centimeters long and 2 centimeters in diameter. When mature, the loose seeds rattle inside. Seeds are explosively dispersed from the pods.

- Found in damp places, in waste lands and paddies.
- Used as ground cover and green manure.
- Native to the Philippines.
- Also found in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia.

- Seeds yield a pyrrolizidinne alkaloid, monocrotaline.

- The pyrrolizidinne alkaloid, monocrotaline, is reportedly toxic to poultry.

Parts used


- Flowers are steamed and eaten as vegetable.
- Leaves mixed with those of Crotalaria retusa, consumed or applied externally for fever, scabies, lung afflictions, and impetigo. (6)
- Seedpods used for treating snake and millipede bites.
- Fiber: Bark is a source of fiber.

Toxicity to concern: Because of presence and toxicity of pyrrolizidines, there is potential concern of toxicity to humans and livestock.

See studies on related species, C. retusa.
• Toxicity of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids / Seeds: Seeds of 41 accessions of Crotalaria representing 35 species were analyzed for concentration of total pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) and for oral toxicity to 1-week old chicks. All accessions were analyzed for the presence of monocrotaline and spectabiline by TLC and HPLC. High concentrations of PA were found in seed of C. spectabilis (3.85%), C. retusa (2.69%), C. alata (1.69%), C. quinquefolia (1.19%) and C. argyrolobioides (1.01%). No species contained both monocrotaline and spectabiline. (4)
• Toxicity to Domesticated Species: Among pyrrolizidine-containing plants, Crotalaria species caused the greatest range of tissue damage to domesticated animals i.e., cattle, sheep, goats, horses, and pigs, and liver damage in livestock. (Poisonous plants of Australia / Selwyn L. Everist) (5)


Updated October 2018 / February 2017
December 2011

IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph / Flowers and Seeds / Crotalaria quinquefolia / Flowers and Leaves / by J.M.Garg / Click on image to go to source page / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License / Useful Tropical Plants
IMAGE SOURCE: Illustration: File:Crotalaria quinquefolia Blanco1.159.png / Flora de Filipinas / 1880 - 1883 / Francisco Manuel Blanco (O.S.A) / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Crotalaria quinquefolia / Synonyms / The Plant List

Crotalaria quinquefolia / Useful Tropical Plants
Sorting Crotalaria names / Common names / Porcher Michel H. et al. 1995 - 2020, Sorting Crotalaria Names. Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database - A Work in Progress. Published by The University of Melbourne. Australia.

Occurrence, Concentration, and Toxicity of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in Crotalaria Seeds / Williams, MC; Molyneux, RJ / Weed Science, 1987; 35 (4): pp 476–481
Crotalaria / Wikipedia
Crotalaria retusa / Pl@ntUse

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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