Oxytropis campestris var. chartacea
|Cold Mountain crazyweed, Fassett's locoweed, field locoweed, Northern yellow locoweed|
The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
The Holden Arboretum
The conservation of Oxytropis campestris var. chartacea is fully sponsored.
Lindsey Parsons contributed to this Plant Profile.
O. campestris var. chartacea is one of the famous locoweeds known for causing cattle to behave in unusual ways. It is endemic to central Wisconsin. This species is extremely shade intolerant and suffers from habitat destruction and succession of the lake shores it inhabits. It relies on changing lake levels to maintain a moderate level of disturbance to keep out grasses and woody species that could shade it or crowd it out. Flowers appear from mid-May through June, and seeds germinate on the lake shores where the species is found, as water levels drop during the summer months. (WIS 2002)
This plant has a thick taproot, with many leaves clustered in rosette at the base of a short stem. Leaves are compound and 2-8 inches long, with 15 pairs of pointed leaflets, that are 5-20 millimeters in length. Most of the plant, including the leaves are covered in dense silky white hair, which gives the entire plant a silver/gray appearance. It has pea-like flowers that are rose/purple. There are 7-14 flowered raceme on each 12 inch stalk. The fruits develop as individual pods from each flower. The pods have papery walls with silky white or black hairs. They're 1/3 inch to 1/2 inch long. Each pod has numerous seeds inside. The reproduction is entirely through seed and not rhizomes. The seeds themselves are 1-2 millimeters wide. Each plant can have 1-10 individual reproductive spikes, and each spike can have 10-20 or more flowers and resulting legumes. The flowers can change color with age. (USFWS 1988)
Distribution & Occurrence
Found on the sand or gravel shorelines of small, landlocked lakes in areas that receive sunlight for part of the day. In other words, this species does not compete will with other species that can shade it out--it is shade intolerant. This open habitat is maintained by lake level fluctuations. (USFWS 1988)
This species is associated with Carex spp., Juncus spp, and Eleocharis spp. (USFWS 1988)
|At the time of listing, Oxytropis campestris var. chartacea was known from six sites containing less than 5,000
individual plants total, in Portage and Waushara Counties in central Wisconsin. (USFWS 1988)
Conservation, Ecology & Research
Shoreline development for houses
Vulnerable to disturbances of the local hydrological regime
Motor vehicle use
Herbicide and pesticide use in agricultural areas,
Due to the locow
pollinator visitation frequency
lakeshore (beach) traffic
lake water quality
aspects of the life history
seed germination requirements
duration of seed bank viability
Barimah-Asare, J. 1991. Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation in Two Species in Leguminosae: Lathyrus maritimus (L) Bigel. and Oxytropis campestris (L) DC. Masters Abstracts International. 31-03: 1133.
Jennings, W.F. 1989. Final Report for Eustoma grandiflorum, Spiranthes diluvialis, Malaxdis brachypoda, Hypoxis hirsuta, Physaria belli, and Aletes humilis. Boulder, CO: The Nature Conservancy.
USFWS. 1988. Determination of Threatened Status for Oxytropis campestris var. chartacea. Federal Register. 53, 188: 37970-37972.