silverleaf scurfpea

(Pediomelum argophyllum)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

silverleaf scurfpea

NatureServe

N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

 

Habitat

Dry. Prairies.

Flowering

June to August

     
Flower Color

Dark blue

     
Height

18 to 36

     
 
Identification

This is a 18 to 36 tall, erect, bushy, perennial forb that rises on 1 to several stems from a woody rhizome. The entire plant has a silvery appearance. At maturity the plant comes apart at the joints and blows away in the wind. It often forms colonies.

The stems are erect or ascending, often zigzagged, and much branched with widely spreading branches. They are densely covered with long, soft, silky, somewhat appressed, white hairs.

Stem leaves are alternate and are palmately divided into 5 leaflets. Branch leaves are alternate and are divided into 3 leaflets. They are on ½ to 1½ long leaf stalks.

The leaflets are narrowly egg-shaped or narrowly elliptic to inversely lance-shaped, ¾ to 1½ long, and up to about wide. They are densely covered with long, soft, silky, somewhat appressed, white hairs.

The inflorescence is a ¾ to 3 long spike of whorls of flowers rising on 1 to 4 long stalks from the upper leaf axils. There are 1 to 5 whorls on the spike with space between the whorls. There are 2 to 8 stalkless flowers in each whorl.

The flowers are to wide and pea-like, with 5 petals organized into a broad banner at the top, 2 narrow wings, and a keel in the center formed by two petals fused together at the tip. The petals are dark blue. The banner has a white patch near the throat.

The fruit is a densely hairy, egg-shaped pod containing a single seed.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.
 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Family:

Fabaceae (pea)

 

Subfamily:

Faboideae (Papilionoideae)

 

Tribe:

Psoraleeae

 
Synonyms

Lotodes argophyllum

Psoralea argophylla

Psoralea argophylla var. decumbens

Psoralea argophylla var. robustior

Psoralea collina

Psoralidium argophyllum

 
Common
Names

silver-leaf scurf-pea

silverleaf Indian breadroot

silverleaf scurf pea

silverleaf scurfpea

silvery psoralea

silvery scurfy pea

silvery scurf-pea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Axil

The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.

 

Palmate

Similar to a hand. Having more than three lobes or leaflets that radiate from a single point at the base of the leaf.

 

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

       
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Plant

  silverleaf scurfpea   silverleaf scurfpea
       

Flower Buds

  silverleaf scurfpea   silverleaf scurfpea
       

Inflorescence

  silverleaf scurfpea   silverleaf scurfpea
       

Leaves

  silverleaf scurfpea    
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Pediomelum argophyllum
Matt Lavin
 
  Pediomelum argophyllum  
 
About

Native perennial herb, stems erect, usually less than 50 cm tall, herbage glandular punctate but this obscured by a dense cover of whitish hairs, sepals 1-2 mm long and remaining so during fruit development, pods with 1 seed, inconspicuous and concealed by the calyx, open dry settings especially in eastern Montana, can be abundant roadside but also distinctly abundant where rangeland is well managed (the species of this genus, like Dalea and most Astragalus species are reduced in abundance with overgrazing).

 
     

 

slideshow

       
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