Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Acaulescent perennial herb. Leaf imparipinnately compound, 1-1.3 cm long; leaflets 7-9, 3-5 mm long, 2.5-3 mm broad, broadly elliptic to obovate, obtuse, densely pubescent on both sides; stipules adnate, whitish, semitransparent, pubescent externally. Inflorescence a pedunculate raceme; peduncle up to 5 cm long. Bracts 3-4 mm long, pubescent, two bracteoles at the base of calyx 7-8 mm long, pilose. Pedicel c. 1 mm long. Calyx c. 10-11 mm long, pubescent, teeth c. 8 mm long, Vexillum c. 13 mm long, c. 10 mm broad. Wing c. 9 mm long, claw 2.5-3.0 mm long. Keel 11-12 mm long, claw c. 4 mm long. Ovary glabrous except for a few hairs at the margin.
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flower/Fruit

Distribution: Chitral.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
Specimen Records: 112
Specimens with Sequences: 117
Specimens with Barcodes: 101
Species: 39
Species With Barcodes: 31
Public Records: 65
Public Species: 25
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Barcode data

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Wikipedia

Hedysarum

Hedysarum (Sweetvetch) is a genus of the botanical family Fabaceae, consisting of about 309 species of annual or perennial herbs in Asia, Europe, North Africa, and North America.

Description[edit]

Hedysarum leaves are odd-pinnate, with entire leaflets (no notches or indentations). The stipules are free or connate, and stipels (secondary stipules) are absent. The inflorescences are peduncled racemes or heads. Bracts are small, with bracteoles below the calyx, and calyx teeth subequal. The petals are pink, purplish, yellow, or whitish. Vexillum is longer than the wings, with an obtuse keel longer or rarely shorter than the wings. Stamens are diadelphous, 9+1, and anthers uniform. Ovary is 2-8-ovuled. Fruit is a lomentum, with segments that are glabrous, pubescent, bristly, or spiny.

Uses[edit]

Hedysarum species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera (moth and butterfly) species including Coleophora accordella. Some species, such as Hedysarum alpinum also known as Alpine Sweetvetch, were eaten by the Inuit to help ward off the effects of scurvy due to it being rich in vitamin C, containing about 21 mg/100g.[2] Charles Darwin also called the telegraph plant a Hedysarum.

In his book Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer incorrectly speculates that Christopher McCandless died from eating seeds of H. alpinum, which Krakauer further speculates to contain swainsonine. This theory was later debunked by experts in the field of botany (http://lib-ojs3.lib.sfu.ca:8114/index.php/era/article/viewFile/180/153). Krakauer subsequently postulated that these seeds were stored wet in a plastic bag, which may have created a toxic by-product, but again there is no evidence to support this claim.

Krakauer was later validated, to a certain extent. Krakauer explains that he recently came across the research of a writer, Ronald Hamilton, who had concluded that a neurotoxin, known as ODAP, in the potato seed was responsible for a degenerative disease known as lathyrism. In August 2013 Krakauer sent a modest sample of the seeds for testing, discovering that they contained ".394 per cent beta-ODAP by weight, a concentration well within the levels known to cause lathyrism in humans." Krakauer concludes that "Had McCandless’s guidebook to edible plants warned that Hedysarum alpinum seeds contain a neurotoxin that can cause paralysis, he probably would have walked out of the wild in late August with no more difficulty than when he walked into the wild in April, and would still be alive today."[3]

Wildlife[edit]

The roots are a major food for grizzly bears. [4]

Selected species[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ NOTE: This may actually be a valid genus.
  2. ^ Vitamin C in the Diet of Inuit Hunters From Holman, Northwest Territories
  3. ^ http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2013/09/how-chris-mccandless-died.html
  4. ^ Grizzly Bear Food and Habitat in the Front Ranges of Banff National Park, Alberta. David Hamer and Stephen Herrero. Bears: Their Biology and Management , Vol. 7, A Selection of Papers from the Seventh International Conference on Bear Research and Management, Williamsburg, Virginia, USA, and Plitvice Lakes, Yugoslavia, February and March 1986 (1987), pp. 199-213.


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