Oxytropis lambertii (Purple Locoweed) - photos and description

Oxytropis lambertii
15 cm ruler for scale

Oxytropis lambertii

Oxytropis lambertii

Oxytropis lambertii
Standard and wings of the flower pulled back to reveal the pointed keel

Oxytropis lambertii

General: Tufted plant with silky hairy, silvery foliage, usually with several scapes growing from the caudex.

Flowers: Inflorescence is an elongate spike, spikes measured to 9 cm long. Flowers very showy, magenta, measured to 2 cm long, and have a pointed keel.

Leaves: Leaves are pinnate, I counted up to 23 leaflets. Leaflets pubescent with long appressed hairs, giving the leaves a somewhat silky-grey appearance. Leaflets oblanceolate measured to 40 mm long and 6 mm wide.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 25 cm tall, I measured a scape to 38 cm tall.

Habitat: Grassland in southeastern Saskatchewan.

Abundance: Very rare, ranked as an S2 by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre.

Origin: Native.

Similar species: Might be mistaken for another Locoweed - Oxytropis splendens. However, that plant has leaflets whorled in 3's and 4's (Taxonomic Reminder for Recognizing Saskatchewan Plants).

It might also be mistaken for Oxytropis beseyi. However that plant has a globose spike. while O. lambertii has an elongated spike.

When and where photographed: Above photos taken June 16, on prairie in the Buffalo Grass Eco Reserve, 200 km southeast of our home in Regina, SK.