‘Crotalaria cunninghamii’ The Green Bird Flower & its Medical Uses.

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The plant Crotalaria is derived from the Greek word for rattle because the seeds of this species which is also called rattle, and cunninghamii is named after the botanist Allan Cunningham, who lived in the early 19th century.
This plant  also referred to as green birdflower, birdflower ratulpo, parrot pea, or regal birdflower, and it belongs to the Fabaceae family of legumes. 

The short-lived perennial plant is a native to Australia, and it prefers the deserts, dunes, and drainage systems of Western Australia’s northern half as well as the Northern Territory. Semi-arid to mild climate regions with well-drained soils make up their habitat.

In the month of January to April, Crotalaria cunninghamii blooms the most, in this period both large bees and honeyeaters pollinate it. The indigenous Nyangumarta Warrarn people refer to Crotalaria cunninghamii as the “Mangarr plant.”

Description of this species of Plant

The perennial green birdflower can reach a heights of one to three meters. It has a pale green leaves and hairy branches. The  Lengthy peaks at the ends of the plant’s branches bear flowers. The flower has a strong resemblance to a bird with its beak fastened to the center of the flower head.   Hairy petioles partly encircle the Mauve flowers. The non-allergenic Crotalaria cunninghamii has large, nearly square pods that are coated in a soft, green hairy shell. It is also a non-toxic plant.

Uses of Crotalaria cunninghamii

This species of plant can be used to replenish soil nitrogen because of a symbiotic relationship it has with bacteria in the soil that creates nodules and traps nitrogen from the air into the surrounding soil. 

Humans may also benefit from Crotalaria cunninghamii’s  medically. 
The bark can be used to cure swelling of the limbs, and the leaves can be heated and boiled to treat eye infections. Crotalaria cunninghamii was a key treatment for inflammation and eye infections among the Aboriginal Australians. Though not frequently used as a medicine today, Crotalaria cunninghamii has the potential to replace some conventional medications with a homeopathic alternative.

Source : Wikipedia

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