Wildflowers of Southern Arizona
Bean (Fabaceae) family.
Duration: Annual. Nativity: Native. Lifeform: Vine. General: Annual or winter-annual herbaceous vine; stems 30-100 cm long, decumbent or climbing, glabrous or puberulent. Leaves: Alternate and pinnately compound, 2-6 cm long, with 6-12 leaflets per leaf; leaflets linear to oblong or oblanceolate, 6-25 mm long, glabrous or with short soft hairs; the rachis (center stalk of the leaf) extends beyond the leaflets and turns into a branched tendril. Flowers: Lavender, in 2-12 flowered loose racemes; flowers 6-8 mm long, with pea-flower morphology (papilionaceous); calyx bell-shaped, 2-3 mm long, topped with unequal-length lobes; corolla 5-8 mm long, blue-lavender, the banner (wide upper petal) folded. Fruits: Pods flat and oblong, 2-3 cm long and 5 mm wide, glabrous, on a 1 mm long stipe (stalk at the base of the pod but above the calyx attachment ploint); containing 4-8 seeds. Ecology: Found on flats in sandy or rocky soils, in open to shrubby and even disturbed sites, from 3,500-6,000 ft (1067-1829 m); flowers April-July. Distribution: CA east to GA and FL; south to s MEX. Notes: Distinguished by being a small, delicate vine, often sparsely hairy all over; pinnately compound leaves with narrow leaflets and curling tendrils at the tip of the leaf rachis (the rachis is the center stalk all the leaflets attach to); white to light purple pea flowers; followed by flattened fruits. Material from the southwest is considered to be var. ludoviciana. The name V. exigua is commonly used for this taxon in Arizona, but that name is not accepted. Distinguish from the common and variable V. americana based on flower size; V. ludoviciana has smaller flowers, less than 1 cm long and V. americana has flowers longer than 1 cm. Also V. americana is perennial and has vibrantly blue-purple flowers. Etymology: Vicia is the classical Latin name for the genus, possibly derived from vincire, to bind, alluding to the tendrils; ludoviciana means of or from Louisiana.
Santa Catalina Mountains.
Sabino Canyon Recreation Area
Location: Along Bear Canyon Road south of turnaround circle near Tram Stop 2.
See SEINet Pictures and Description