Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Strophostyles helvola (L.) Elliott
- Family: Pea (Fabaceae)
- Flowering: June-September
- Field Marks: This annual, viny member of the pea family has one or more of its 3 leaflets usually with shallow lobes.
- Habitat: River banks, thickets, ditches, shores, disturbed areas, beaches, open woods.
- Habit: Trailing or twining annual vine up to 8 feet long.
- Stems: Slender, rough-hairy or sometimes smooth.
- Leaves: Alternate, divided into 3 leaflets, broadly ovate to ovate-oblong, some of them usually
shallowly lobed, pointed at the tip, rounded at the base, toothless, smooth or sparsely hairy, up
to 3 inches long.
- Flowers: 3-10 in head-like, axillary clusters, each cluster on stalks often longer than the leaves;
individual flower stalks very short or absent.
- Sepals: 5, green, united below, usually somewhat asymmetrical, smooth or hairy, up to 1/8
- Petals: Pea-shaped, greenish purple to rosy, the back petal rounded, up to 2/3 inch long, the
petal facing the back petal coiled.
- Stamens: 10, 9 of them attached to each other, the other one free.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Pods up to 4 inches long, sparsely hairy; seeds oblongoid, hairy, about 1/8 inch long.
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