Lotus scoparius

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Lotus scoparius
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Lotus scoparius.jpg
Plant Info
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Kingdom: Plantae
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Division: Magnoliophyta
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Class: Magnoliopsida
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Order: Fabales
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Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
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Tribe: Loteae
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Genus: Lotus
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Species: L. scoparius
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Binomial name
Lotus scoparius
(Nutt.) Otley
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Type Species

Lotus scoparius (Common Deerweed, Deer Weed, Deervetch, California Broom or Western Bird's-Foot Trefoil) is a perennial subshrub in the family Fabaceae (pea family). The plant is a pioneer species found in dry areas of California, Arizona, and Mexico. It is commonly found in many areas including chaparral, coastal sand and roadsides at elevations below 1500 m.

The stems are green, erect, somewhat branched, with small, deciduous, pinnate leaves consisting of 3 – 6 leaflets. The plant which blooms from about March to August has flowers which are bilateral, small (7-11 mm) and yellow, that are clustered together in an inflorescence consisting of 2 – 7 flowers in the upper leaf axils. The flowers become reddish with age. The fruit consists of a curved pod with 2 seeds.

This plant is popular with wildlife, providing food for hummingbirds, bees, butterfly larvae and deer.

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