The book embodies details of 113 taxa (93 species, l subspecies, 17 varieties and 2 formae) of Crotalaria L., the largest legume genus in India. Leguminosae are the third dominant angiospermic family and second to Graminae for food. Besides, hosting a large number of endemic species, the Indian subcontinent is the centre of origin and diversity of a number of cultivated legume crops. A part from their value, there is a great concern for the severe erosion of biodiversity. The present work is expected to through new light on such issues and much awaited comprehensive taxonomic details. Crotalaria is an important economic genus and C. juncea L. (Sunhemp) is second to jute for fibre. World over there are 600 species of the genus. The present work is the outcome of years of herbarium studies and field observations.
In introduction, general discussion on chromosomes, pollination, anatomy and morphology of seeds, uses etc. have been given. Available chromosome numbers shape and size of pollen and other details are given against the respective species. 100 illustrations and 115 photographs including 8 SEM photographs of seeds are given. Many critical studies have been done and taxonomic decision taken accordingly. The genus is divided into 6 sections and 12 subsections including 5 new subsections. Two new varieties and one new record for India are added in this work. 6 species and l variety reduced to synonymy; 4 species and l variety reinstated; l species reinstated and retained as variety; 2 species reduced and retained as varieties; 2 new formal, l new record for India and 2 name changes were made earlier status of C. huillensis Taub. explained.
Several new lectotypes for subsections and species have been selected and chosen. The details include up-to-date nomenclature, citation to prologue, reference to Flora of British India, relevant synonyms, types, comprehensive description, local names wherever available, phenological and ecological data, general key to all the species, key to sections, subsections and species of sections and subsections. Specimens examined are also citied as data and to indicate the distributional pattern. The present book is a maiden effort on the genus in India comprising many critical taxonomic and monographic studies and will be useful for future biosystematic studies.