Tephrosia spicata (Walt.) T. & G. - Red Hoary Pea

Tephrosia spicata plant

Family - Fabaceae

Stems:

Tephrosia spicata stem

Leaves:

Tephrosia spicata leaves

Inflorescence:

Tephrosia spicata inflorescence

Flowers:

Tephrosia spicata flower

Tephrosia spicata calyxCalyx.

Flowering - Late May - August.

Habitat - Open woods, pine flatwoods, sandhills, roadsides.

Origin - Native to North America.

Other information - This attractive species can be found throughout Alabama. The plant is easy to identify becasue of its ascending to clambering stems, its long calyx lobes, its dense, ferruginous, pilose to villous hairs, and its brilliant red flowers. The flowers are yellow in bud, then pink when first opened, then quickly turn red.
The genus name Tephrosia derives from the Greek "tephr(o)" meaning "ashes, ash-colored, gray" from the stems, leaves, and fruit of another species.
The species epithet spicata derives from the Latin "spic(a)" meaning "a spike, point" referring to the inflorescence.

Alabama Distribution:

Tephrosia spicata map

Photographs taken at Tuskeegee National Forest, AL., 6-8-05.


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