Hedysarum alpinum (American Hedysarum) - photos and description

 

 

 

 

 

General: An upright plant, usually with many stems from the crown, and a few branches on each stem. Lower stems reddish.

Flowers: Flowers are pink to purple, grow in long racemes, and droop down. Racemes measured to 13 cm, flowers measured to 1.5 cm.

Leaves: Leaves alternate on the stem, pinnate, we counted up to 23 leaflets. Leaf highlighted in above photo was 11 cm long (including petiole) and 4 cm wide). Leaflets are oblong, leaflet measured at 28 mm long and 7 mm wide.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 80 cm, we measured plants to 63 cm tall.

Habitat: Ravines, coulees, open woods.

Abundance: Common.

Origin: Native.

Similar species: There are 2 Hedysarum species native to Saskatchewan. The other is Hedysarum boreale. That plant has silvery foliage, its flowers do not droop, and its calyx lobes are linear. Whereas H. alpinum has green foliage, flowers which droop, and calyx lobes which are broad at their base.

When and where photographed: The above photos were taken June 27th, fescue prairie, west block Cypress Hills about 425 km southwest of Regina, SK, and July 3rd, edge of mixed woods, boreal forest, about 400 km north of our home in Regina, SK.