Monographs Details: Cracca cathartica Britton & Millsp.
Authority: Britton, Nathaniel L. Flora Borinqueña.
Description:Species Description - The Spanish botanical authors Seesé and Mocino included descriptions of many Porto Rican plants in their work on the Mexican Flora, and this plant is one of them. It is an upright, slender, often much branched herb, with compound leaves, and small, purple, clustered flowers, recorded as having cathartic properties, and is sometimes cultivated. The plant is occasional in sandy soil along the coasts of Porto Rico, and is locally distributed in the West Indies from the Bahama islands and Santo Domingo to St. Kitts, growing also on the Cayman Islands, and in Colombia. From the related Cracca cinerea it differs in being upright, with fewer, usually notched leaflets, and smaller flowers. For an account of the genus Cracca we refer to our description of Cracca cinerea.
Cracca cathartica (cathartic) has a deep root, and becomes from 0.5 to 0.8 meters in height, its tough branches from 10 to 40 centimeters long. The leaves are slender-stalked, and from 5 to 8 centimeters long; they have from 5 to 9, oblong-obovate, usually notched leaflets, from 1.5 to 4 centimeters long, appressed-hairy, at least on the under side. The flowers are few, in short, or long clusters; the calyx is about 4 millimeters long, with pointed teeth; the standard petal is about 8 millimeters broad. The pod is 3 or 4 centimeters long, 4 or 5 millimeters wide, with from 5 to 7 seeds.
Galega cathartica Sessé and Mocino, Flora Mexicana, edition 2, 175.1894.
Tephrosia cathartica Urban, Symbolae Antillanae 4: 283. 1905.
Cracca cathartica Britton and Millspaugh, Bahama Flora 181. 1920.