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Oxytropis splendens (Showy locoweed)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Oxytropis splendens

Oxytropis splendens Douglas ex Hook.

Showy Locoweed

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Synonym(s): Aragallus splendens, Astragalus splendens, Oxytropis richardsonii, Oxytropis splendens var. richardsonii, Oxytropis splendens var. vestita


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

Tufted plant with silvery, silky-hairy, leafless stems, topped by dense spikes of rich lavender flowers, rising from among pinnately compound basal leaves.

This is one of the poisonous locoweeds, similar to the members of the genus Astragalus (whose flowers have a blunt keel), which are also known as locoweeds or poison vetches. There are nonpoisonous members of both genera as well--those of Oxytropis are known as point-vetches.


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf: Gray-Green

Bloom Information

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


USA: AK , CO , MN , MT , ND , NM , WY
Canada: AB , SK
Native Distribution: S. Manitoba; North Dakota and Minnesota (also occurs beyond our range in the Southwest and farther west).
Native Habitat: Prairies and plains.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low


Warning: Can be toxic and sometimes fatal to animals if eaten. Humans should generally avoid ingesting plants that are toxic to animals.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Find Seed or Plants

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.

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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