Crotalaria cunninghamii

Accession Count: 1
Common Name: Bird Flower
Family Name: Fabaceae
Botanical Name: Crotalaria cunninghamii
Sub Species:
Variety:
Forma:
Cultivar:
Characteristics: The bird flower is a small shrub that only grows to 10 feet tall and six feet wide. During the Fore-summer this shrub produces bright green flowers that look like a small bird is attached by the beak to the central stalk of the flower head. When the fruit forms it is encased in a club-shaped pod. The pod is swollen, hard, and velvety and can grow to one to two inches long (1). 
Compound: Cro cun
Geographic Origin: Australia
Ecozone Origin: Australasia
Biome Origin:
Natural History: This beautiful specimen originates in Australia and was discovered by Allan Cunningham, a traveling botanist in the early 19th century (4).  The bird flower has been distributed to the North West coast of Australia. These shrubs can be found in Beard's provinces, IBRA regions, IMCRA regions, and Local Government Areas (5).
Cultivation Notes: The shrubs prefer a full sun on fresh to moist soil. The substrate should be sandy-loamy, gritty-loamy or sandy clay soil (3). Propagation can be from cutting or seeds. To propagate from seeds they need to be sacrificed so that germination will be better and faster. The seeds can be sacrified by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them) and then soak them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water (2). 
Ethnobotany: One traditional use of the green bird-flower is for swellings and eye infections (2).  Locals harvest this plant for its good base of fiber. They use the fibers in commercial production (6). In addition, its stems have been used by Aboriginals to make sandals (2). This plant has landscaping value as well as an ornamental in the garden for its large, colorful flowers (6). 

Height: 6 - 10 feet
Width: 6 - 10 feet
Growth Rate: Fast Growing
Grow Season: Summer
Flower Season: ForeSummer
Color: Green
Function: Accent
Spread: Spreading
Allergen: Non-allergenic
Invasive: Benign
Toxicity: Benign
Hardy: Hardy
Water Use: Moderate Water Use

Citations:
  1. australianseed.com. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  2. tropical.theferns.info. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  3. hortipedia.com. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  4. wikipedia.org. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  5. florabase.auRetrieved April 2, 2019.
  6. tropical.infoRetrieved April 2, 2019.
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Crotalaria cunninghamii