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Acmispon glaber

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About Deerweed (Acmispon glaber) Deerweed is a perennial subshrub in the Fabaceae (Legume family). It was formerly classified as Lotus scoparius and some sources may still refer to it by that name. The plant is a pioneer species found in dry areas of California, Arizona, and Mexico. It is commonly found in many habitats including chaparral, coastal sand, roadsides and other disturbed areas at elevations below 1500 meter. The stems are green, erect, somewhat branched, with small, deciduous, pinnate leaves consisting of three to six leaflets. The plant blooms from about March to August and has flowers that are bilateral, small, yellow, and clustered together in an flower cluster consisting of 2 - 7 flowers in the upper leaf axils. The flowers become reddish with age. The fruit consists of a curved pod with two seeds. There are two recognized varieties with overlapping ranges. Although widely available, it is not often used in gardens because it is not particularly showy. However, it has excellent habitat value because it is nitrogen-fixing, and it is often used in restoration projects.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
1.6 - 3 ft (0.49 - 0.9 m)

Max. Width
3 ft (0.9 m)



Growth Rate

Summer Semi-Deciduous, Winter Deciduous

Flower Color

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Most often seen in burned or disturbed areas along the coast and inland foothills, valleys and mountains


Elevation ?
-18' - 7469'

Annual Precip. ?
3.6" - 69.6"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 2.77"

Coldest Month ?
34.4° F - 59.1° F

Hottest Month ?
57.9° F - 88.0° F

Humidity ?
0.38 vpd - 38.93 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates a wide variety of soils

Soil PH
5.2 - 8.2


Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 15° F

Companion Plants
Deerweed has no particular companion plants in the wild, but it can be used with virtually any other natives.

Wildlife Attracted
An important pollinator plant, it is host plant to Bramble Hairstreak, Afranius Duskywing, Persius Duskywing, and Acmon Blue butterflies. It is a nectar plant for other butterflies including the Chalcedon Checkerwing

Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Seldom Used

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Can be cut back in late summer or early fall to stimulate new growth

Common uses
Bee Gardens, Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Lotus scoparius

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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