Lamberts Crazyweed (Oxytropis lambertii)


Lambert Crazyweed Oxytropis lambertii Pursh (PEA FAMILY)

Lambert crazyweed is a tufted perennial 6-12 in. tall, appearing stemless. The alternate leaves are pinnately compound, with 9 to 21 linear to narrowly-oblong leaflets, and more or less silky with appressed hairs. The leaflets are acutely-tipped and ascending. The inflorescence is an axillary spike borne on long peduncles of purple to bluish-purple (sometimes light yellow) pea flowers. The fruit is a cylindric glabrous pod with a distinct beak. Though extremely unpalatable, lambert crazyweed is sometimes eaten by livestock and causes disorientation, loss of muscle control, and sometimes death. Poisoning is most common early in the growing season on overgrazed range. This plant is commonly mistaken for wooly loco, but may be differentiated by the pointed leaf tips and keel of lambert crazyweed as opposed to a rounded tip and keel of wooly loco. Often patches of this plant will have both yellow- and purple-flowered plants.