Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

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S.G. Aiken, M.J. Dallwitz, L.L. Consaul, C.L. McJannet, R.L. Boles, G.W. Argus, J.M. Gillett, P.J. Scott, R. Elven, M.C. LeBlanc, L.J. Gillespie, A.K. Brysting, H. Solstad, and J.G. Harris

Oxytropis deflexa (Pall.) DC. subsp. foliolosa (Hooker) Cody

English: Pendant pod oxytrope,

French: Oxytrope à folioles nombreuses.

Fabaceae (Leguminosae), Pea family.

Published in Can. Field-Natural. 108: 94. 1994.

Type: Canada: Alberta, "O. foliolosa Hooker Fl. Bor. Amer. Rocky Mountains", leg. perhaps Drummond. Holotype: K.

Synonymy. Oxytropis foliolosa Hooker, Fl. Bor.-Amer. 1: 146. 1831.

Oxytropis deflexa (Pall.) DC. var. foliolosa (Hooker) Barneby, Leafl. West. Bot. 5: 111. 1951.

Vegetative morphology. Plants 5–15(–20) cm high; perennial herbs; caespitose. Taproot present. Ground level or underground stems absent. Caudex present. Aerial stems erect. Aerial stem trichomes spreading (tomentose). Leaves mainly basal (fresh green, delicate, with fern-like leaves); alternate; dying annually and non-persistent (blades), or marcescent (midribs of previous season's leaves persisting). Stipules present; persisting for 2 or more years (in the marcescent build-up at the base of the plant); 10–15 mm long; 3–3.5 mm wide (each side); sheathing; brown (pale), or colourless; hairy; long-silky; apex acuminate. Petioles (10–)15–40 mm long; hairy; tomentose, or long-silky. Petiole hairs shorter than the diameter of the petiole and longer than the diameter of the petiole; spreading, or erect (tangled); straight, or curved; smooth. Leaf blades compound. Leaves not grass-like. Blades 15–30 mm long, 7–15 mm wide, veins pinnate. Blade adaxial surface fresh green, hairy, hairs long-silky, hairs simple, hairs sparse or moderately dense, hairs white, or translucent. Blade abaxial surface hairy, hairs long-silky, hairs moderately dense or very dense, hairs white, hairs straight, hairs appressed. Blade apices acute. Leaflet arrangement pinnate. Leaflets 15–23; 3–6(–7) mm long; 2–3 mm wide; elliptic, or ovate (the tips and margins sometimes darker green or purplish); veins inconspicuous.

Reproductive morphology. Flowering stems without leaves. Flowering stems hairy. Flowering stems pilose. Flowering stem hairs simple; shorter than the diameter of the flowering stem; white or translucent and black (spreading). Inflorescences spicate (very short pedicels and head-like); dense; 1–1.5(–3) cm long; 10–15 mm wide; not elongating as the fruit matures. Pedicels absent. Floral scales hairy mainly at apex (stipule-like with black hairs). Flowers per inflorescence 3–7; medium-sized; bilaterally symmetrical (zygomorphic). Sepals conventional; 5; fused; 4.5–5.5 mm wide; brown, or black. Calyx tubular; 5-lobed; without sessile glands; hairy (long black and sometimes white hairs). Calyx hairs pilose (and fur-like); non-glandular; black (mainly but some white hairs). Calyx teeth sub-equal or unequal; 1.5–2.3 mm long. Petals conventional; both free and fused; 5; purple (violet), or blue (on the tips of the petals); with contrasting markings (darker insect guidelines on the banner petal; keel petals yellow towards the base); unlobed, or slightly lobed or undulating; 7–8 mm long. Corolla papilionaceous; keel with a pointed tip. Stamens 10; stamen filaments all equal in length (almost equal). Anther filaments 9 fused into a tube, plus 1 free. Nectaries present. Ovary superior; carpels 1; monomerous. Stigmas per ovary 1. Ovules per ovary 4–10. Fruit sessile, or stalked (with a very short stalk); with calyx persisting; dry; a legume; ellipsoid (on a stipe within the calyx; pendant from the rachis); yellowish, or brown; 10–18 mm long; 2–6(–10) mm wide (to 10 cm after opening); hairy (with black hairs); not distinctly flattened; dehiscent; opening at the apex and partially or fully down one side. Legume unilocular; valves straight. Styles persisting but not modified. Seeds 4–10; 1.5–2 mm long (i.e., the longest dimension); brown (or yellowish); surfaces smooth.

Chromosome information. 2n = 16.

2n =16 (2x). For the collective species. Ledingham (1957, Canada, 1960); Ledingham and Fahselt (1964, North America); Laane (1965, northern Norway, subsp. norvegica); Knaben and Engelskjøn (1967, northern Norway, subsp. norvegica); Zhukova et al. (1977, northeastern Asia); Kovanda (1978, USA); Zhang and Ma (1989, China).

Dawe and Murray, in Löve (1981a, northern Alaska, two counts); Löve and Löve (1982a, central Canada).

Löve and Löve (1975) assigned to this subspecies the chromosome counts of Ledingham (1957, 1960), Ledingham and Fahselt (1964), and Yurtsev and Tzvelev (1972). As the Löves only recognised two subspecies, the two former counts are here listed under the collective species. The third count is assigned by Yurtsev to subsp. dezhnevii (Elven, May 2002).

Ploidy levels recorded 2x.

Taxon as an environmental indicator. Polunin (1940) reported the northernmost record as from N.W.T., south coast of Coronation Gulf, Tree River, 67°43'N.

Ecology and habitat. Substrates: ridges; dry; gravel, sand (gravel and sand bars by rivers and lake shores. It is often associated with willows and grows almost as well in closed heath or grassy communities as in entirely open areas); with low organic content; calcareous. Plants of this taxon flower and fruit abundantly.

North American distribution. Alaska, Yukon, continental Northwest Territories, Nunavut Islands, continental Nunavut, northern Quebec, Labrador, Newfoundland. Range in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago limited. Uncommon. Alpine. Arctic islands: Baffin (Kimmirut and Iqaluit, locally frequent in Quebec).

Northern hemisphere distribution. North American. West Alaska, North Alaska – Yukon, Central Canada, Labrador – Hudson Bay.

General notes. Porsild (1964) recognised this taxon as O. foliolosa Hooker. Barneby (1952), followed by Welsh (1991), treated it as O. deflexa var. foliolosa, which Cody (1994) changed to subspecies status. Cronquist et al. (1989) and Isely (1998) have since synonymised var. foliolosa under var. deflexa.

The Iqaluit distribution records are new since Porsild (1957). One site is near the airport, another near Arctic College. Is it possible that the Iqaluit records were accidentally introduced from Kimmirut (Lake Harbour)? Porsild (1957) mapped a collection from the coast of midwestern Baffin Island, but the specimen has not been found.

Illustrations. • Habitat. Isolated plant with leaves and inflorescence prostrate on bare gravel. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Iqaluit, near the Causeway. 27 July, 2005. Aiken and Annie Archambault 05–004. CAN 586923. • Close-up of inflorescence. Head-like spicate inflorescence with deep purple flowers. Aiken and Annie Archambault 05–004. CAN 586923. • Close-up of flowers. Side view and surface view of flowers showing distinct white guide lines on the banner petal. Aiken and Annie Archambault 05–004. CAN. 586923. • Close-up of plant. Note compound leaves with 15–23 leaflets, vivid deep red petioles, and large stipules at the base of the leaves. Aiken and Annie Archambault 05–004. CAN 586923. • Centre of plant. Centre of the plant with erect stipules at the base of deep red petioles that have white hairs. Aiken and Annie Archambault 05–004. CAN 586923. • Close-up of leaf. Leaf isolated to show stipules at the base of the petiole and delicate light green leaflets characteristic of this species. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Iqaluit. 2005. No voucher. Photograph by Kathy Thornhill. • Close-up of stipules at base of leaf. Note the free stipules with long hairs on the margins at the base of the petioles. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Iqaluit. 2005. No voucher. Photograph by Kathy Thornhill. • Close-up of fruits. Fruiting head with deflexed fruits lying on the tundra. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Iqaluit. 27 July, 2005. Aiken and A. Archambault 05–004. CAN 586923. • Arctic Island Distribution.


This publication is available on the internet (posted May 2011) and on CD-ROM (published in 2007). These versions are identical in content, except that the errata page for CD-ROM is accessible on the main index page of the web version.

Recommended citation for the web-based version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa. http://nature.ca/aaflora/data, accessed on DATE.

Recommended citation for the CD-ROM version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. [CD-ROM] NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.

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