Perennial herb from a woody stem-base; stems erect to spreading, 20-60 cm tall, several, clumped, simple or somewhat branched, mostly fine silky-hairy.
Basal and alternate along the stem, palmately compound on long stalks (the lower stalks 2-4 times as long as the blades but the upper ones 1/2 as long); leaflets 7 to 11, oblanceolate to narrowly oblong, rounded to sharp-pointed at the tip, 3-6 cm long, equally hairy on both sides or glabrous above.
Inflorescence a terminal raceme of numerous, whorled, pea-like flowers, the racemes 3-12 cm long on stalks 2-8 cm long; corollas blue to violet, sometimes whitish, 8-14 mm long on stalks 3-5 (10) mm long, the banner finely hairy on the central area of the back, the wings glabrous or hairy near the tip, the keel usually fringed with hairs on the upper edges; calyces 2-lipped, the upper lip 2-toothed at the tip and with a short (to 1.5 mm) spur or swelling at the base, the lower lip entire.
Pods, 2-3.5 cm long, 6-9 mm wide, silky or long soft-hairy; seeds 3 to 6, pinkish-brown.
Two subspecies are recognized in BC:
1. Leaflets hairy above, sometimes only sparsely so, linear-elliptic to oblanceolate, usually less than 6 mm wide................ ssp. neolaxiflorus Dunn
1. Leaflets hairless or nearly so above, oblanceolate, 6-10 mm wide.................. ssp. pseudoparviflorus (Rydb.) Dunn
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia