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Thursday - September 06, 2012

From: Beaumont, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Visual difference between Strophostyles umbellata and S. helvola
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I know that Strophostyles umbellata is perennial and S. helvola is an annual, but can you tell me how to visibly distinquish between S. umbellata and S. helvola.

ANSWER:

You are right that Strophostyles umbellata (Pink fuzzybean) is a perennial and Strophostyles helvola (Amberique-bean) is an annual.   Here are the differences that separate the two according to Correll and Johnston's Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas:

"Bracts at base of individual flowers blunt, half as long as the calyx tube or less; leaflets without conspicuous lobes at base, 3 to 8 times as long as wide.....S. umbellata.

Bracts at base of individual flowers acute, as long as the calyx tube or longer; leaflets lobed at base or (if not lobed) the leaflets 1 to 3 times as long as wide......S. helvola.

Here are more photos and information, including the botanical descriptions, from Missouri Plants for S. umbellata and S. helvola .  Note that the description on the Missouri Plants page for S. umbellata says that there are three species of Strophostyles [Strophostyles leiosperma (Slickseed fuzzybean), as well as S. umbellata and S. helvola] in Missouri and that the best way to distinguish between the three is by noting the differences in the bracts.

 

From the Image Gallery


Amberique-bean
Strophostyles helvola

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Bibliography

Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas (1979) Correll, D. S. & M. C. Johnston

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