Soft Locoweed
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Soft Locoweed
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Soft Locoweed
Botanical name: Oxytropis mollis    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Oxytropis thomsonii

Soft Locoweed is a perennial herb, with woody root-stock. Aerial stem is much reduced, covered with persistent leaf bases. Leaves are about 3-22 cm long. Stipules are opposite the leaves, hairy. Leaf stalks are about 2-9 cm long. Leaflets are 21-43, opposite, lower sometimes alternate, stalkless, 7-17 mm long, 2-5 mm broad, obovate, elliptical, lance-shaped, oblong, orbicular to oblong-lanceolate, entire, with tip pointed, blunt or truncated, hairy on both sides. Flowers are borne in long-stalked condensed racemes. They are purple-pink, fading to blue. Stalks are about 7-27 cm. Bracts are 4-6 mm long. Calyx is 7-10 mm long, longest teeth being 2.5-4 mm. Vexillum is 9-16 mm long, wing 8-15 mm long, keel 7-14 cm long. Fruit is about 1.3 cm long, excluding the 3 mm long point. Soft Locoweed is found in the Himalayas, from Pakistan to C. Nepal, at altitudes of 2700-3600 m. Flowering: May-September.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh, Nongthombam Ullysess
Photographed in Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh.
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