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Aeschynomene virginica, called Virginia joint-vetch or sensitive joint-vetch, is an annual plant in the legume family (Fabaceae).  It is native to intertidal coastal marshes of the eastern United States from Maryland to North Carolina, where it grows as an early successional species especially in recently disturbed or sparsely vegetated habitats.   It typically grows to 3.3-6.6 feet (1-2 meters) tall, with single stems and pinnate leaves.  The small yellow flowers (0.4 – 0.6 inches (1.0 - 1.5 cm) across) have red veining, bloom in racemes from July through fall, and are pollinated by bees and butterflies.  Sensitive joint-vetch is vulnerable to habitat destruction, as well as sedimentation of its environments and competition with non-native species.  Federally listed as threatened in 1992, it now exists in only a few (approximately 20) populations, having disappeared from many of its previous sites and extirpated from its historically native Delaware and Pennsylvania coastal environments.

(Suiter 2012)


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