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Silver Bird's-foot Trefoil
Acmispon argophyllus
About Silver Bird's-foot Trefoil (Acmispon argophyllus) 5 Nurseries Carry This Plant Lotus argophyllus is a species of legume known by the common name silver bird's-foot trefoil. It is also sometimes classified as Acmispon argophyllus. It is endemic to California, where it can be found in the southern California Coast Ranges, Peninsular Ranges, and Transverse Ranges, the Sierra Nevada, Southern California coastal zones, and the Channel Islands. It is found in chaparral, conifer forest, and other habitat types. Lotus argophyllus is a perennial herb growing prostrate to erect, the base of its stem woody and tough and upper parts coat in silky silvery hairs. The leaves are each made up of pairs of hairy oval leaflike leaflets around a centimeter long. The inflorescence is a cluster of many tubular yellow flowers each about a centimeter long, encased at the base in a calyx of silky-hairy sepals. The fruit is legume pod generally containing a single seed. Varieties: The varieties of this species include: L. a. var. adsurgens - San Clemente Island bird's-foot trefoil is endemic to San Clemente Island, one of the Channel Islands of California. It is rare. L. a. var. argenteus - Channel Islands silver lotus is endemic to several of the Channel Islands. L. a. var. argophyllus - Fremont's silver lotus is a more common variety which can be found in mainland distribution. L. a. var. fremontii is known only from the Sierra Nevada. L. a. var. niveus - Santa Cruz Island bird's-foot trefoil, endemic to Santa Cruz Island, another of the Channel Islands, is rare.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Perennial Herb

0.33 - 3.3 ft tall

Flower Color
Flower Color

Wildlife Supported

Butterflies & moths hosted ( 2 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information

Natural Setting
Annual Precipitation: 4.8" - 77.7", Summer Precipitation: 0.14" - 2.95", Coldest Month: 26.1" - 59.2", Hottest Month: 55.2" - 87.5", Humidity: 0.87" - 38.31", Elevation: -89" - 8861"

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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