Fabaceae Hedysarum boreale

Hedysarum boreale

Hedysarum boreale var. boreale

Family: Fabaceae (A Utah Flora - Leguminosae) – Pea Family

Perennial herbs; 6.8” to 2.3' (17 to 70 cm) tall

Leaves: alternate; compound; has hairs; 5 to 15 leaflets 0.28” to 1.4” (7 to 35 mm) long, 0.08” to 0.76” (2 to 19 mm) wide; leaves 1.2” to 4.8” (3 to 12 cm) long

Flowers: 5 petals (a banner, 2 wings and 2 keels); keel much longer than the wings; 5 toothed sepals; 10 stamens; 1 pistil; bisexual; pink, purple, or less commonly white; flowers 0.4” to 0.76” (10 to 19 mm) long

Pollinators: insects

Fruits: legume

Blooms in Arches National Park: April, May

Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities

Location seen: park road near junction with Delicate Arch road, Willow Springs wash

Other: The genus name, “Hedysarum”, is the Ancient Greek name for the common European “Asarum" (ginger). Linnaeus named this genus in 1753. The species name, “boreale”, is Greek for “northern”.

This family is ranked second to grasses in importance to people because species can fix nitrogen. However, some species, e.g., locoweeds and milkvetches, are poisonous due to selenium abstracted from the soil.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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