E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Hedysarum occidentale Greene
western hedysarum (western sweetvetch; western sweet-vetch)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Adolf Ceska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #21251)

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Distribution of Hedysarum occidentale
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a branched, woody stem-base and heavy taproot; stems several, erect, 40-80 cm tall, branched above, sparsely short-hairy.
Alternate, odd-pinnate, mostly glabrous, sometimes thinly short-hairy below, minutely gland-dotted on the upper surface; leaflets 9 to 21, lanceolate to elliptic, conspicuously veined, 10-40 mm long; stipules membranous, brownish, lower ones joined, up to 3 cm long, upper ones usually free.
Inflorescence an axillary, often one-sided raceme of 20 to 80 pea-like, nodding flowers; corollas reddish-purple, 16-22 mm long, the wing lobes linear and nearly equal to the claw; calyces 4-5 mm long, short-hairy, the teeth shorter than the tube, the upper pair of teeth wider and shorter than the lower three.
Pods, constricted between the seeds into (1) 2 to 4 segments, the segments egg-shaped to elliptic, 7-12 mm wide, delicately and irregularly net-veined, the margins winged, 1-2 mm wide.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic meadows and rocky slopes in the subalpine and alpine zones; rare, known only from N and C Vancouver Island; S to ID, MT, CO and N WA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References