General: Robust perennial herb from a spreading rhizome, greenish and nearly glabrous to greyish with basally 2-forked hairs; stems 1-few together, erect to decumbent, simple or branched above, 0.3-1 m tall.
Leaves: Alternate, pinnately compound, 10-20 (35) cm long; leaflets 13 to 29, elliptic to oblong, blunt or notched and tiny-pointed at the tip, 1.5-4 cm long, often glabrous above; stipules membranous-papery, 6-15 mm long, some or all fused and sheathing at the base, the free ends lanceolate and long-tapering.
Flowers: Inflorescence a spike-like, axillary raceme of 30 to 150, nodding, downward overlapping, pea-like flowers, the racemes 5-15 cm long on stalks 5-20 cm long; corollas greenish-white to cream, 12-17 mm long, the wings equal to the banner, the keel often purple-tipped; calyces 6-10 mm long, finely appressed-hairy, the tube twice as long as the awl-shaped teeth.
Fruits: Pods, erect on stubs 1-2 mm long, crowded and persistent on the erect stalk of the inflorescence, cylindric, 8-20 mm long, with a tiny hook at the tip, somewhat leathery or stiff-papery, often finely appressed-hairy, 2-chambered.
Notes: Three varieties are recognized for BC. The two varieties in S BC are sympatric and freely intergradient.
1. Pods cylindric, not grooved beneath and usually hairless; plants of NE BC..................... var. canadensis
1. Pods grooved beneath and usually hairy; plants of S BC.
2. Calyces white- and black-hairy; the teeth nearly equal in size, 1.5-3 mm long; plants greenish, not silvery-hairy...................... var. mortonii (Nutt.) S. Wats.
2. Calyces white-hairy, the teeth 1-2 mm long, the upper pair broader and shorter than the lower three; plants more or less silvery-hairy.....................var. brevidens (Gandog.) Barn.
Mesic to dry open forests, thickets, meadows, streambanks and lakeshores in the steppe and montane zones; common in NE BC (var. canadensis) and S BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains (vars. brevidens and mortonii); var. canadensis - N to NT, E to PQ and S to AR, VA and TX, var. brevidens - S to SD, ND, CO and CA, var. mortonii - S to ID, MT and N WA.
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2020. E-Flora BC:
Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for
Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:
2022-10-04 6:07:25 AM
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