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

Oxytropis campestris (L.) DC.
field locoweed
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Alfred Cook  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #8498)

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Distribution of Oxytropis campestris
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from taproot and branching stem-base, which is often covered with disintegrated stipules; densely tufted, 5-30 cm tall.
Basal, odd-pinnately compound, 3-30 cm long; leaflets 7 to 35 or more, lance-elliptic to oblong, silky or appressed-hairy on both surfaces to nearly glabrous above, 5-30 mm long; stipules membranous, 5-15 mm long, fringed with long hairs along the edges and long-hairy on the lower surface.
Inflorescence a spike-like to head-like raceme of 5 to 30 pea-like flowers, the raceme-stalks spreading to erect, to 30 cm long; corollas white to yellowish, sometimes tinged with purple, 10-18 mm long; calyces cylindrical, with mixed grey and black hairs, the triangular to linear teeth 1-3 mm long.
Pods, oblong-ellipsoid, erect to spreading, membranous, short-hairy, 1-2.5 cm long, almost 2-chambered, the beak 5 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry to mesic sandy, gravelly or rocky sites, including river bars, terraces, rock outcrops, grassy slopes, meadows, clearings, roadsides, alpine tundra and heath, and open forests in the steppe, montane, subalpine and alpine zones; locally common in SC BC (var. cusickii), rare in SC and SE BC (var. columbiana) and frequent in extreme N BC, the Queen Charlotte Islands and N Vancouver Island (var. varians); var. columbiana - S to WA, ID and MT; var. cusickii - E to SW AB and S to N CO, ID and OR; var. varians - N to AK, YT and NT.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Oxytropis campestris

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) 6 1560 2501
Slope Gradient (%) 0 31 235
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
10 202 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 5
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(26), BAFA(20), BG(2), BWBS(15), ESSF(32), IDF(21), IMA(4), MS(2), PP(9), SWB(9)


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.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Oxytropis campestris subsp. melanocephala Hook.
Oxytropis campestris subsp. sordida (Willd.) C. Hartm.
Oxytropis campestris var. glabrata Hook.
Oxytropis glabrata (Hook.) A. Nelson
Oxytropis maydelliana subsp. melanocephala (Hook.) A.E. Porsild
Oxytropis sordida auct. non (Willd.) Pers. p.p.
Oxytropis sordida subsp. barnebyana (S.L. Welsh) Yurtsev

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References