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General: Pea Family (Fabaceae). Utah sweetvetch is a native perennial, cool season, herbaceous legume with deep taproots and several lateral roots, sometimes rhizomatous. Its deep taproots allow the plant to extract deep soil moisture and nutrients resulting in significant drought resistance and winter hardiness. The main stems arise from a woody crown and may grow 1 to 2 feet tall. The leaves are compound (two or more leaflets) and hairless. Flowers can be pink, purple, or white arranged in a loose raceme. Seeds develop in a long constricted pod, with several sections. Each section contains one brown kidney-shaped seed.

Distribution: Utah sweetvetch is common and widely distributed in the Intermountain West, Montana, south to Colorado and Utah. For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.

Habitat: Utah sweetvetch can be found in the mountain brush, ponderosa pine, pinyon-juniper and big sage brush vegetative zones.


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Upper Colorado Environmental Plant Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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