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Oxytropis lambertii (Purple locoweed)
Cressler, Alan

Oxytropis lambertii

Oxytropis lambertii Pursh

Purple Locoweed

Fabaceae (Pea Family)


USDA Symbol: OXLA3

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

A tufted plant, usually covered with silvery hairs, with dense racemes of bright reddish-lavender "pea flowers" held just above the basal leaves by long stalks.

The single feature that distinguishes Purple Locoweed from other American Oxytropis species is the hairs attached by their middle to a short stalk forming a miniature teeter-totter, a feature seen only with a lens and even then sometimes escaping notice.


From the Image Gallery

56 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Fruit Type: Legume
Leaf: Gray-Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AZ , CO , IA , KS , MN , MO , MT , ND , NE , NM , OK , SD , TX , UT , WY
Canada: SK
Native Distribution: On the Great Plains from Canada to Texas; west to the eastern base of the Rocky Mountains in Montana and Wyoming; through the mountains to central Utah and Arizona.
Native Habitat: Plains and open areas in pine forests.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
CaCO3 Tolerance: High


Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

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.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2015-06-04
Research By: TWC Staff

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