Oxytropis sericea

      
Early Yellow Locoweed

Plant in Ground

East Block, Grasslands National Park
05-May-2004

Note that the key to the genera in Flora of Alberta requires that the flowers NOT be yellow.  This of course is not true for this species.  It does this in an attempt to exclude Lotus.  The most common Lotus on the Canadian prairies, L. corniculatus, has deep yellow flowers arranged in an umbel-like inflorescence.

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Sericea:  Answers to key questions in Budd's Flora and Flora of Alberta leading to this species.  
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plants acaulescent; stems NOT with one or more evident nodes

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stipules adnate to the petioles for half their length; NOT adnate to the base of the petiole only

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leaves with 11-19 leaflets; NOT 17-33 leaflets

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leaflets all paired or scattered on the rachis; NOT [leaflets whorled on the rachis or appearing so; few leaflets in pairs]

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leaflets not fascicled, opposite or subopposite; NOT [mostly fascicled, appearing whorled]

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flowers yellowish, ochroleucous, or whitish; NOT purplish, NOT blue

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keel 15-20 mm long; NOT 11-14.5 mm long

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pods erect or spreading; NOT pendulous

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pods rigid at maturity

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pods coriaceous; NOT chartaceous

 
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Oxytropis: Answers to key questions in Budd's Flora and Flora of Alberta leading to this genus. 
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herbs; NOT shrubs

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plants NOT climbing

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leafy stems usually absent

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leaves pinnately divided; NOT palmately divided

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leaflets more than 3

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terminal leaflet normal; NOT replaced by a tendril

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leaflets NOT [5, pinnately arranged (the lower pair basal and resembling stipules)]

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leaves NOT glandular-dotted

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inflorescence NOT umbel-like

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calyx-lobes NOT [subulate, much longer than the tube]

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flowers NOT [pinkish to red or purple]

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flowers NOT yellow (FOA, see note above)

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keel with a sharp point at the tip; NOT rounded at tip, NOT obtuse at the tip

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keel NOT truncate

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fruit a legume; NOT a loment

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pod NOT segmented, NOT jointed

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fruit NOT [only slightly longer than wide, with short stout spines, 1-seeded]

 

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Leguminosae: Answers to key questions in Budd's Flora leading to this family. 
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herbs; NOT shrubs, NOT trees

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plants terrestrial or semiaquatic; NOT aquatic

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plants NOT with colored milky juice

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plants with more than one normal leaf

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some or all leaves alternate; NOT [opposite, whorled, or basal]

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leaves with stipules

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flowers with two floral rings, and with each petal distinct from the others

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calyx regular

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flowers irregular in shape

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corolla pea-like; NOT [with one petal spurred or sac-like]

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stamens usually separate or partly so; NOT in a column

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fruit a legume; NOT a 3-valved capsule