This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Perennial herbs, sometimes shrubby, with odd-pinnate leaves, and showy flowers in axillary peduncled racemes. Calyx bracteolate, its teeth nearly equal. Standard obovate or obcordate, narrowed at the base; wings oblong, shorter than the standard; keel longer than the wings, obtuse, obliquely truncate. Stamens diadelphous (9 and 1). Pod flat, linear, its joints oval, orbicular or quadrate, readily separable. [Greek, sweet-broom.]
About 70 species, natives of the north temperate zone and northern Africa. Besides the following several others occur in western North America. Type species: Hedysarum coronarium L.
Hedysarum alpinum var. americanum Michx. Fl. Bor. Am.
Stem erect or somewhat decumbent, glabrous or nearly so, 6'-2i° high, generally simple. Leaves short-petioled; stipules lanceolate, long-acuminate, 2"-%" long; leaflets 11-21, oblong or oblanceolate, obtuse and often mucron-ulate at the apex, mostly rounded at the base, 6"-10" long, 2"-5" wide; racemes longer than the leaves; flowers violet-purple, or sometimes white, numerous, de-flexed, 7"-10" long, in rather loose elongated racemes; calyx-teeth ovate, acute, shorter than the tube; pod 1/2'-1 1/2' long, drooping, of 3-5 oval or orbicular, glabrous or somewhat pubescent, strongly reticulated joints, about 2 1/2" wide.
In rocky places, Labrador and Newfoundland to Alaska, British Columbia, Maine, Vermont, Ontario, South Dakota, south in the Rocky Mountains to Utah. Recorded by Michaux from the Alleghanies. June-July.
Hedysarum Mackénzii RichaTds., admitted into our first edition as from Hudson Bay. differs in having longer subulate calyx-teeth; it inhabits northwestern North America.