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Oxytropis lambertii
Oxytropis lambertii variety bigelovii
Fabaceae (Pea Family)  

Semi-desert, foothills, montane. Grasslands, shrublands, woodlands. Summer.
Angel Peak National Recreation Area, New Mexico, June 3, 2010.

Oxytropis lambertii is a showy Fabaceae that is quite common throughout the central United States.  The plant grows from five to twenty inches tall with numerous stems of flowers arising directly from the base of the plant. (The plant is, therefore, said to be "acaulescent", i.e., "without stem".)  Leaves are upright and cut into seven to thirteen narrow divisions.  The plant can be moderately to very hairy and hairs are often "malpihgian".

Frederick Pursh described this plant in 1814 from a specimen collected by Bradbury in 1811 on bluffs above the Missouri River near the Nebraska/South Dakota border.

"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.  Aylmer Lambert (1761-1842) was a British botanist.  (Click for more biographical information).

Oxytropis lambertii

Oxytropis lambertii

Oxytropis lambertii variety bigelovii
Fabaceae (Pea Family)
 

Semi-desert, foothills, montane. Grasslands, shrublands, woodlands. Summer.
Angel Peak National Recreation Area, New Mexico, June 3, 2010.

 

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

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Species present and not rare
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Oxytropis lambertii

Range map for Oxytropis lambertii