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

Oxytropis sericea Nutt.
silky locoweed (white locoweed)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #2753)

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Distribution of Oxytropis sericea
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Oxytropis sericea var. speciosa

Species Information

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Low perennial herb from a stout taproot and branching stem-base covered with persistent leaf-stalks and stipules; tufted, 5-25 cm tall.
Basal, odd-pinnately compound, 5-30 cm long; leaflets 11 to 21, oval to lance-oblong, 7-30 mm long, grey or silvery silky-hairy on both surfaces; stipules membranous, about as long as the leaflets, joined to the leaf-stalks for 1/2 of their length, long-hairy to glabrous on the back, the margins fringed with bristly hairs.
Inflorescence a spike-like raceme 2-10 cm long, elongating in age, of 5 to 25 pea-like flowers, the raceme-stalks stout, erect, 7-25 cm long; corollas whitish to pale yellow, sometimes pinkish-tinged, 15-25 mm long; calyces cylindric, silky with dark and pale hairs, 9-13 mm long, the linear-lanceolate teeth about 1/2 as long as the tube.
Pods, oblong, 15-25 mm long, erect, short-beaked, fleshy when green but bony when dry, short-hairy, nearly 2-chambered.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry sandy, gravelly or rocky, grassy slopes, bluffs, river terraces, meadows and roadsides from the steppe to alpine zones; frequent throughout BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; N to S YT, E to MB and S to ID and WY.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Oxytropis sericea

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) 520 1480 2682
Slope Gradient (%) 0 24 100
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
20 199 356
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 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(2), BAFA(6), BWBS(3), ESSF(43), ICH(1), IDF(74), IMA(13), PP(12), SWB(1)


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