False Lupine

Thermopsis rhombifolia Nutt. ex Richards

A perennial rhizomatous herb stems erect or ascending one to several from base, which attains a height of 1-4 feet, terminating in a long raceme of golden yellow flowers, each flower being 1/2 to 3/4 inches long.  Compound leaves are alternate, with three leaflets; leaflets broadly oval in shape, pointed or rounded and ending in a short, flexible point, 1-3 inches long. 1/3 to 1/2 inches wide. At the pase there are 2 large leaf like stipules. All stamins are intact. The flowers are yellow and very colorful.  Pods with leathery texture, recurved, sparsely to densely hairy, becoming smooth, constricted between seeds; yellowish to dark-brown, smooth, shiny. This warm season begins growth in May and flowers from June through July. Golden pea grows on prairie hillsides, rocky open woodlands, badlands, and roadsides. It is more common on drier uplands and clay soils of buttes or banks. It is found throughout the Intermountain area.


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