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

Hedysarum sulphurescens Rydb.
yellow hedysarum (sulphur hedysarum; sulphur sweet-vetch; white sweetvetch; yellow sweet-vetch)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #2574)

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Distribution of Hedysarum sulphurescens
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a thick stem-base and taproot; stems several, erect to spreading, 20-60 cm tall, usually branched above, sparsely short-stiff-hairy, greenish, shallowly grooved.
Alternate, odd-pinnate, sparsely hairy below, glabrous but minutely glandular above, stalked, 8-20 cm long; leaflets 9 to 17, elliptic to egg-shaped, conspicuously veined, abruptly sharp-pointed at the tip, 15-30 mm long, 5-10 mm wide; stipules brown, membranous, joined or free, 10-15 mm long.
Inflorescence an axillary raceme of 20 to 100 pea-like, nodding flowers; corollas yellow to whitish, 14-18 mm long, the wing-lobes slender and nearly equalling the claw; calyces 3-4 mm long, 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 asymmetrically elliptic, 6-10 mm wide, irregularly net-veined, narrowly wing-margined.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry glades and open forests in the steppe and montane zones; locally common in SE BC, infrequent in the Peace River region; E to SW AB and S to MT, WY and NC WA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Hedysarum sulphurescens

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 600 1522 2682
Slope Gradient (%) 0 32 100
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
5 178 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(11), ESSF(125), ICH(12), IDF(86), IMA(7), MS(131), PP(10), SBS(2)


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