SILVER-LEAF SCURF-PEA
File Size: 62 KB
 
Pediomelum argophyllum   (Pursh ) J.W. Grimes
[=Psoralea argophylla Pursh]
Riley County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 8-30 inches
Family: Fabaceae - Bean Family
Flowering Period:   June, July, August
Stems: Erect or ascending, 1 to several, widely spreading branches above, silvery white pubescent, often zigzag.
Leaves: Alternate, palmately compound, main stem leaves 4- or 5-foliolate, branch leaves 3-foliolate; stalks .5 to 2 inches long; leaflets elliptic to oval, .5 to 1.5 inches long, silky-white hairy.
Inflorescences: Spikes of whorls on stalks 1 to 4 inches long in upper leaf axils; whorls 2-8, well-separated, 2-8-flowered.
Flowers: Small; calyces bell-shaped, 2-lipped, densely silky-hairy; corollas papilionaceous, dark blue, fade yellowish or brown.
Fruits: Pods, egg-shaped, beaked; seeds 1, kidney-shaped, smooth, brown.
Habitat: Moist prairies, rocky hillsides, lowlands, stream valleys, and open woodlands.
Distribution: Throughout, more abundant in north 1/2 of Kansas.
Toxicity: Silver-leaf scurf-pea is poisonous but seldom is consumed by livestock.
Uses: Native Americans used the plant to treat fevers and fed the roots to tired horses.
Comments: This colony forming plant is quite conspicuous due to its striking silver-white foliage.

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