Stems: viscid-pubescent. Leaves: odd-pinnate; leaflets in numerous pairs, oblong-lanceolate, somewhat acute. Flowers: peduncles longer than the leaves; spikes subcylindrical; teeth of the calyx subulate, about the length of the tube; legumes short, terete, acuminate.
Alpine Oxytrope (Oxytropis viscida)
As remarked before, Oxytropis differs from Astragalus in having flowers with very pointed keels and long naked flower-stalks that grow up directly from the base of the plant; also its flower-spikes are more elongated than those of the Ascending and Purple Milk Vetches, which are roundish. The Alpine Oxytrope is a hairy, rather sticky plant, and bears blossoms of many shades of gray-blue, violet, mauve, purple, and creamy white.
Oxytropis splcndens, or Showy Oxytrope, is rightly named, for its handsome bright purple-blue or purple-pink flowers, growing in dense spikes on the top of the long straight stalks, and its quantity of silvery silky foliage render it a remarkably handsome member of the Pea Family. The whole plant, including the stalks, leaves, and calyx, is extremely woolly.
Oxytropis deftexa, or Drooping-fruited Oxytrope, is a soft pubescent or silky plant with leaves bearing twelve to sixteen pairs of narrow pointed leaflets. The small pale purple flowers grow in slender spikes on stalks which far exceed the leaves in length. The calyx is nearly as long as the corolla and is covered with short black and longer white hairs. The fruit is the most remarkable feature of this plant, it is very strongly deflexed.
Oxytropis podocarpa, or Inflated Oxytrope, is an arctic and alpine plant, which grows only from one to four inches high and has violet flowers and tiny very hairy stalks and leaves. The main stems grow partly underground and are imbricated, - that is to say, they are covered with numerous small overlapping leaves; but the pods are the most noticeable feature, being abnormally large and inflated.
This plant is frequently found growing flat upon the ground.