Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Hedysarum alpinum (Alpine sweetvetch)
Weyand, Phyllis

Hedysarum alpinum

Hedysarum alpinum L.

Alpine Sweetvetch, Alpine Sweet Broom, Licorice Root, Sweetbroom

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Synonym(s): Hedysarum alpinum ssp. americanum, Hedysarum alpinum var. alpinum, Hedysarum alpinum var. americanum, Hedysarum alpinum var. grandiflorum, Hedysarum alpinum var. philoscia, Hedysarum americanum, Hedysarum caucasicum, Hedysarum hedysaroides, Hedysarum philoscia, Hedysarum sibiricum, Hedysarum truncatum


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

Several erect, branching stems rise 1 1/2-3 ft. from a woody crown. From the axils of pinnately compound leaves rise long, straight, dense clusters of pinkish-lavender, pea-like flowers.

Like other members of the pea family, this plant needs the presence of microorganisms that inhabit nodules on the plant's root system and produce nitrogen compounds necessary for the plant's survival.


From the Image Gallery

7 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Fruit Type: Legume
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul


USA: AK , ME , MI , MT , ND , NH , SD , VT , WY
Canada: AB , NB , NL , SK
Native Distribution: Circumpolar, s. in N. Am. to n. New England (rarely), the Black Hills, n.c. MT & B.C.
Native Habitat: Moist, mt. woods; limy river banks; gravelly slopes

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Calcareous sands, gravels & rocky soils.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Special Value to Bumble Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: Use seeds, cuttings or divisions for increase. Seed germination is good.
Seed Treatment: Germination is increased with scarification.
Commercially Avail: yes

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.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Hedysarum alpinum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Hedysarum alpinum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Hedysarum alpinum


Record Modified: 2009-02-20
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back