Cracca ambigua (M.A.Curtis) Kuntze
Cracca angustissima (Chapm.) Kuntze
Cracca gracillima (B.L.Rob.) A.Heller
Galega ambigua M.A.Curtis
Galega argentea Lam.
Galega florida F.G.Dietr.
Galega villosa Michx.
Tephrosia ambigua (M.A.Curtis) Kuntze
Tephrosia gracillima (B.L.Robs.) Killip
Tephrosia florida is a prostrate to erect, herbaceous perennial plant growing from a woody taprot; it can produce stems up to 60cm long[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine. The plant contains compounds with insecticidal properties[
The plant contains rotenonoids and has been used traditionally as a fish poison - rotenoids kill or stun the fish making them easy to catch, but the fish remain perfectly edible for mammals. Rotenonoids are classified by the World Health Organization as moderately hazardous. They are mildly toxic to humans and other mammals, but extremely toxic to many insects (hence their use as an insecticide) and aquatic life, including fish. This higher toxicity in fish and insects is because the lipophilic rotenonoid is easily taken up through the gills or trachea, but not as easily through the skin or the gastrointestinal tract. The lowest lethal dose for a child is 143 mg/kg, but human deaths from rotenone poisoning are rare because its irritating action causes vomiting. Deliberate ingestion of rotenone, however, can be fatal.
The compound decomposes when exposed to sunlight and usually has an activity of six days in the environment.
Southeast N. America - Virginia to Florida, west to Louisiana
Well-drained, usually open, light, sandy, acid soils in pine and oak woods and barrens on the Coastal Plain[
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A decoction of the beaten roots is applied topically to sores[
An infusion of the roots is applied to snake bites[
Many species in this genus contain rotenone-like compounds in their roots and aerial parts. Rotenone is an isoflavone that has strong insecticidal, pesticidal and piscicidal activities, but is of relatively low toxicity to humans.
Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in a greenhouse in spring. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting out in the following spring or early summer.