Sunn Hemp (Crotalaria juncea L.) is a multipurpose tropical and subtropical legume grown in many countries, notably India, mainly for its high quality fibre. The crop is grown for Green Manure & Cover Crop and is acclaimed & recommended seed by researchers worldwide to improve the soil health of the land by increasing the biomass & nitrogen content of the soil and as a disease break in cereal or other crop rotations. Sunn Hemp is used as fodder.


Crotalaria juncea is an annual erect shrubby herbaceous legume growing to a height of 1-4 m. It is strongly taprooted and has several lateral roots. Sunn Hemp is a many-branched species. The stems are up to 2 cm in diameter, cylindrical and ribbed. The leaves are spirally arranged along the stems, hairy, simple, oblong-lanceolate or elliptical in shape, 4-13 cm long x 0.5-3 cm wide. The inflorescence is a terminal open raceme, up to 25 cm long, bearing showy, deep-yellow papillonaceous flowers. The fruit is a cylindrical, many seeded, hairy pod, light brown when mature, about 3-6 cm long x 1-2 cm in diameter. The seeds are cordiform, 6 mm long, dark brown to black in colour. The number of seeds/kg is highly variable, ranging from 18,000 to 35,000. The genus name means "rattle", reminding the sound produced by the seeds in the pods at maturity, and the epithete for the species "juncea" was given by Linnaeus for the resemblance of Sunn Hemp with spanish broom Spartium junceaum L. Crotalaria juncea is the fastest growing and most important species of the Crotalaria genus. Sunn Hemp is a drought-resistant species and it can grow where average annual rainfall is as low as 200 mm. Crotalaria juncea does well on a wide range of soils provided they are well-drained. It does not withstand waterlogging. A neutral range of pH is preferred but Sunn Hemp can grow on soils with pH ranging from 5 to 8.4. Crotalaria juncea tolerance of salinity is generally low but there have been reports of moderate tolerance. Sunn Hemp love to grow in Warm & hot Climatic condition. Late summer planting can also grow plant but will not able to make enough contribution to soil.

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