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

Oxytropis campestris var. spicata (L.) DC. Hook.
Nelson's oxytrope (field locoweed; Silky Locoweed)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #20025)

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Distribution of Oxytropis campestris var. spicata
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a taproot and stout, branching stem-base, hairy throughout; tufted or matted, 5-40 cm tall.
Basal, odd-pinnately compound, 6-23 cm long; leaflets 17 to 33, linear-oblong to narrowly egg-shaped, 5-25 mm long, appressed silky-hairy on both surfaces; stipules membranous, 5-15 mm long, loosely soft-hairy to nearly glabrous.
Inflorescence a spike-like raceme, on a stalk (10) 15-40 cm long, of 10 to 30 pea-like flowers; corollas white or yellowish white, occasionally bluish, 12-17 mm long, calyces appressed long-soft-hairy, often with black hairs.
Pods, oblong-egg-shaped, 1-2.5 cm long, papery-membranous, black- and white-hairy, nearly 2-chambered.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry meadows, grassy slopes, sandy or gravelly riverbanks and terraces, and forest openings from the lowland and steppe to alpine zones; locally frequent in SW and SC BC; E to MB and S to CO and WA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Oxytropis campestris var. spicata

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) 225 1369 2360
Slope Gradient (%) 0 22 72
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
1 215 360
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(7), BG(3), ESSF(16), ICH(1), IDF(9), MS(7), PP(18)


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 var. columbiana (H. St. John) Barneby
Oxytropis macounii (Greene) Rydb.
Oxytropis monticola A. Gray
Oxytropis monticola subsp. monticola
Oxytropis sericea subsp. spicata (Hook.) Cody
Oxytropis sericea var. spicata (Hook.) Barneby
Oxytropis spicata (Hook.) Standl.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References