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This is a native species.

Oxytropis parryi

Oxytropis parryi

Oxytropis parryi

Oxytropis parryi  (Parry's Locoweed)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)
 

Subalpine, alpine. Rocky openings, tundra. Summer.
Above and left: Robertson's Pasture Trail, Abajo Mountains, Utah, June 25, 2010 and August 12, 2022.

Oxytropis parryi grows from one to four inches tall on high elevation ridge tops and tundra.  Here it is pictured on a rocky knoll at 10,800 feet. Oxytropis parryi is difficult at first to find in such an area because the plant is so minute, but when one learns to walk slowly, head down, looking for the characteristic sage green hairy leaves, one is quickly rewarded with numerous sightings of the plant.

                                                         Oxytropis parryi

Asa Gray named this plant in 1884 from a specimen collected by Charles Parry in the mountains above Taos, New Mexico, in 1867.

"Oxytropis" is Latin for "sharp keel" and refers to the abruptly pointed tip of the keel petal, a characteristic that separates this genus of Fabaceae from two other prominent Fabaceae genera, Astragalus and Hedysarum

Charles Parry was a highly respected and prolific collector of plants in Colorado and other areas of the Southwest.  (Click for more biographical information about Parry).

Oxytropis parryi
Oxytropis parryi (Parry's Locoweed)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)
 

Subalpine, alpine. Rocky openings, tundra. Summer.
Robertson's Pasture Trail, Abajo Mountains, Utah, June 25, 2010.

Flowers are minute, erect, and typically open no more than the one in the photograph at left.  The flower on the right is fading to inky blues.  Black hairs are short and straight; white hairs are long, twisted, and often plumose (barbed).

Since the flowers open only a minute amount, Utah flora expert Stanley Welsh theorizes that the "flowers are cleistogamous [self-fertilizing, without opening]".

 

Oxytropis parryi
Oxytropis parryi (Parry's Locoweed)  
Fabaceae (Pea Family)
 

Subalpine, alpine. Rocky openings, tundra. Summer.
Robertson's Pasture Trail, Abajo Mountains, Utah, June 25, 2010.

Pods are long and narrow, smoothly rounded on one long side and slightly indented on the other, and often very hairy. The pods in the photograph at the top of the page do not appear to be hairy, but they have just emerged and their hairs are tightly pressed against the surface and will soon look like those at left.

The top photograph is also interesting in that it shows a plant fruiting in August, quite late for this species. Severe drought in the late winter and spring of 2022 set back many plants and it wasn't until July rains came that plants were able to flower and fruit. On August 12 a good number of Oxytropis parryi had flowers and even more had just finished flowering and had healthy crops of fruits developing.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Oxytropis parryi

Range map for Oxytropis parryi