Monday, November 23, 2015

Flower for the Day Yellow Oxytrope Greenland 11-23

Yellow oxytrope (Oxytropis arctica) is in the legume family. The flowers arise on a single stalk and have distinctive sharply beaked keels. Oxytropis is Greek for the pointed keel of the petal unit (Corolla).

Also known as arctic locoweed the genus is noted for its production of a phytotoxin containing
swainsonine  which is harmful to grazing animals. Too much of this toxin can produce neurological symptoms 
resembling "loconess" and even death in these animals. We did not eat this flower but not because we had any
inside information or special knowledge of what it could cause. We just were not eating flowers that day.

It has many names: Field Locoweed, Northern Oxytrope, White Smallflower

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