Oxytropis campestris (Early Yellow Locoweed) - photos and description

Oxytropis campestris

Oxytropis campestris

Oxytropis campestris
Flower with pointed keel

General: Plants tufted, usually with multiple scapes arising from the caudex. Plant is silky hairy, giving the leaves a greyish green appearance.

Flowers: Flowers quite showy, pale yellow, in a dense spike, spike to 5 cm in length. Scapes leafless. Length of keel (from scape to tip of keel) was measured at 18 mm. Flowers fragrant.

Leaves: Leaves are all basal, pinnate, we counted up to 15 leaflets, leaflets oblong to elliptical and silky hairy. We measured a leaf blade at 6 cm long by 2 cm wide, and a leaflet at 12 mm long by 4 mm wide.

Height: Height is listed in Budd's Flora to 40 cm, we measured scapes to 25 cm tall.

Habitat: Prairie and dry hillsides

Abundance: Common.

Origin: Native.

Synonym: Listed in some of the field guides we use as Oxytropis sericea.

Confusingly, what is now called Oxytropis monticola (Late Yellow Locoweed) used to be listed as Oxytropis campestris, and what is now called Oxytropis campestris (the plant described on the webpage you're viewing - Early Yellow Locoweed), was listed as Oxytropis sericea.

Similar species: Could be mistaken for another Locoweed - Oxytropis monticola, both have pale yellow flowers. However, the flower spike of that plant is from 5 to 20 cm in length, while the flower spike for O. campestris it is only 4 to 5 cm in length (Taxonomic Reminder for Recognizing Saskatchewan Plants).

When and where photographed: We took the above photos May 13th in the Qu'Appelle river valley 35 km north of Regina, SK, and May 19th slopes of the western Qu'Appelle Valley about 100 km west of our home in Regina, SK.