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Loughmiller, Campbell and Lynn
Wislizenia refracta Engelm.
Jackass clover, Spectacle fruit
USDA Symbol: WIRE
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
Jackass clover is a sturdy plant, 3–5 feet tall with many branches. Most of the leaves are divided into 3 segments. The yellow flowers, about 1/2 inch across, grow in clusters around the upper fourth of the stem and bloom from the bottom up. The many stamens extend beyond the petals and persist even after the petals wither, giving the flower head a feathery appearance. They often grow so thickly that they give a yellow cast to a considerable area.
Although the plant parts are poisonous if eaten, this is a valuable honey plant nevertheless. The three leaflets give it a resemblance to clovers (Trifolium) in the pea family (Fabaceae), but the plants are not related. The origin of the word jackass in the common name is unknown.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Annual Habit: Herb Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
, TX Native Distribution:
Californias Central Valley east through southern Nevada to western Texas, and south to Mexico. Native Habitat:
Low, sandy or alkaline soil in deserts and arid grasslands; frequent along roads and washes.
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2007-08-31
Research By: TWC Staff