This species was published by Hepper (1956) on the basis of two specimens from the Bamenda Highlands, Egbuta in FHI 3763 (farmland, Bamenda, Dec. 1951) and Tamajong in FHI 23479, (grassland at roadside, Kumbo, Oct. 1947, type of the species). A few years later (Flora of West Tropical Africa 2: 549, 1958), he had added a third collection, Latilo and Daramola in FHI 34369, from Gembu in the Mambilla Plateau. Polhill (1982), in revising the genus for Africa and Madagascar, extended the range to Angola. The photograph of Newton 76 (Angola, Huila, Humpata, Feb. 1883) shows a specimen that differs from the Cameroonian material in having much larger and more broadly elliptic leaflets (2.9 x 1.4 cm) with inflorescences partly concealed by leaves and borne on short spur shoots. Perhaps the Angolan plants merit subspecific distinction. Polhill regards Crotalaria bamendae as an evolutionarily isolated species in section Glaucae. More recent collections of C. bamendae are Jacques-Félix 8933 from Tchabal Mbabo and Meurillon in CNAD 125 from Lake Bambuluwe (November 1965). The only recent collection record known is Munyenyembe 882 (Kilum, Shambai, 2,500 m alt.) November 1996. Crotalaria bamendae is evidently rare in its range. However, the fact that only this single collection was made during a month of collecting in its habitat, at the peak of its flowering season in 1996, by a large expedition of botanists from Kew and Cameroon suggests that even within its habitat it is rare and infrequent and so potentially Vulnerable to threats. Recent surveys elsewhere in the Bamenda Highlands where it might reasonably be expected to occur, have failed to find new records for it (Harvey et al. 2004, Cheek et al. 2010).
This species has a large extent of occurrence of over 595,000 km², but a small minimum area of occupancy of 32 km², however, there appear to be no threats causing the species to decline, hence there are no threat defined locations. As a result although a very scarce species, it is assumed to be safe currently in its high altitude habitats and is hence listed as Least Concern. Should evidence should be forthcoming about any threat or declines the species would qualify for listing in a more threatened category. The assessment of Vulnerable under criterion D2, originally made in Cheek et al. (2000), is not maintained here.