Tiny Locoweed
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Tiny Locoweed
ative Photo: Tabish
Common name: Tiny Locoweed
Botanical name: Oxytropis pusilla    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)

Tiny Locoweed is a small herb, 2-10 cm tall. Deep blue or violet purple flowers are borne in 2-5-flowered clusters carried on top of 2.5-5.5 cm long stalks. These stalks are equal to or slightly longer than leaves, erect, basally hairless, sparsely covered with black hairs towards the top. Bracts are lanceshaped, as long as sepal tube, with black bristles. Sepal cup is bell-shaped, 4-6 mm, with linear, 1.5-1.7 mm long sepals covered with black and white long hairs. Flowers are deep purple, standard 5-8 mm, lamina oblong, tip emarginate, wings 6-7.2 mm, slightly shorter than standard, tip retuse, keel 5-6.7 mm, shorter than wings, beak 0.3-0.4 mm. Stipules are nearly ovate with a lanceshaped free part, about 6 mm, herbaceous, sparsely white and black hairy. Basal half is adnate to leaf-stalk, distinct, tip pointed. Leaves are 2-7 cm, laxly 7-13-foliolate. Leaf-stalk and rachis are slender, with white and black short hairs. Leaflet blades are lanceshaped to linear-lanceshaped, 4.5-10 x 0.5-2 mm, nearly hairless, or with appressed long hairs on the underside, margin frilly, tip pointed. Legume is oblong-cylindric, 1-1.2 cm x about 3 mm, with appressed black short hairs. Tiny Locoweed is found on hillsides, grasslands on damp areas along riverbanks and on floodplains in China and Ladakh, at altitudes of 3700-5000 m. Flowering: June-July,

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh
Photographed in Nubra Valley, Ladakh.
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