The Sonoran Desert Florilegium

plants of the florilegium

Acmispon rigidus
shrubby deervetch

FAMILY:  Fabaceae — Legume family

SYNONYMS:  Lotus rigidus, Hosackia rigidus

ETYMOLOGY:  The name of the genus Acmispon is taken from the Greek acme, which means "point" and may refer to the pointed tip of the seedpod.

The species name rigidus is a Latin word meaning "rigid", a reference to the plant's erect, stiff branches.

GEOGRAPHIC RANGE:  Found from se CA, sw UT, s NV, AZ, south into Baja California

HABITAT:  Occurs in sandy flats, gravelly foothills, dry slopes and washes belos 5,500'

BLOOMING SEASON:  February to May

DESCRIPTION:  A sparsely branched perennial, 1-3' tall with many erect brittle stems growing from a woody base

Bright yellow, pea-like flowers, up to 1" long, are bright yellow with an orange tint, aging to red. Flowers stalks grow from the leaf axils and bear 1 to 3 flowers.

The slender brownish-red seeds pods are 1.25" to 1.5" long and very straight with a pointed tip.

Half-inch pinnate leaves have 3-5 leaflets and are widely spaced along the stems. Leaves and stems are covered with short stiff hairs.