I found this lovely, compact species growing in widely-scattered colonies in the Uinta Mountains, Uintah County, Utah, blooming on May 21, 2009. I was in the area of Brush Creek Canyon Overlook at an elevation of between 8,400 and 8,700 feet in large, open meadows ringed by aspen groves. I don't know if it is, indeed, an Oxytropis but it is definitely in Fabaceae. Can you help me put a name to my photos?
Sorry but I don't have an ID suggestion, just wanted to say what a lovely plant it is; I'm going to sit back to see if anyone else knows its name.
Might it be Astragalus lentiginosus? Just a guess on my part, check this- http://intermountainbiota.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=4111&taxauthid...
Jane, from your pictures, not an oxytropis. Astragalus and Trifolium are candidates.
Could it be Astragalus spatulatus? Here's a link to a herbarium specimen
This specimen was collected in the same general area I was in when I photographed this plant.
Jane, I think you got it, I agree it looks like Astragalus spathulatus. Here are some image links:
It is a pretty plant, anyway!
Very nice and such a prolific bloomer!! Would be well worth growing.
Are there particular characteristics that point to one genus or the other, or disqualify oxytropis in this case?
In flower one of the easier to see differences is that in Oxytropis, the keel tip is beaked. In other words notched and not smoothly curved. They may have just the sightest notch or break in the curve in some species. In others species a more pronounced deeper cleft is displayed, so that it seems to have a distinct lobe protruding from the edge of the keel tip.
I hope I described this well.
Excellent examples Lori. The beaks are very well defined in your shots. Just be aware that they can be more subtle in some species. I hope this next example is large enough to view.
Very cool. 8) Thanks so much!
The beaks are very well defined in your shots. Just be aware that they can be more subtle in some species.
Good thing the ones I've looked at happened to be well defined ones!
I'd like to know what to watch out for on the more subtle ones. On the one you show, I'm not entirely clear on where the beak or notch is (versus the two petals that flank the keel), so I hope you don't mind that I have copied and annotated your photo (below) to ask my question... Is the notch/beak the bit outlined in blue (immediately left of the red arrow)? (Or is the structure the blue arrow is touching?)
You are correct with the first outlined section. The red Arrow is pointing directly at the notch along the keel edge. It is not a sharp V shaped notch, I would describe it more as a slight in curving of the keel edge (An interuption to arc, so to speak) which then flares out slightly again, creating a lobe (or Beak) at the tip of the Keel.
This is all very interesting. John, I thought that Oxytropis borealis had pinnately compound leaves, the subject plant has simple leaves as far as I can tell. I find this whole lot, Astagalus and Oxytropis bewildering. :)
I think the conversation is getting mixed up between "the plant in question" (Jane's) and the plant in the photo added by John to show flower characteristics of Oxytropis?
Got it, was following the thread close enough. Thanks.
Just to add to the topic. This is a picture of Astragalus spatulatus - a white form - which has been living quite happily in a trough in my garden. It has been blooming reliably every year for many years. The very definition of a great astragalus, coming from the west and settling happily in the northeast!
What happened to the picture? I'll try again.
A beautiful specimen, Anne.
By the way, you can always edit a previous post by clicking on "Modify".
Thanks so much, Rick. The computer and I have such an uneasy relationship!
I've never come across a white flowered individual before very nice!
And sooo long-lasting. I think if you look long enough you will find a white form of almost any plant. I've seen a white form
of Oxytropis podocarpa above Boreas Pass years ago. May I just use this space to say how much I'm enjoying your articles in the Quarterly. I hope there will be more.