Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Hosackia gracilis
seaside bird's-foot-trefoil

Distribution: Occurring west of the Cascades crest in Washington; Washington to California.

Habitat: On moist soil, from near sea level to lower elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: May-July

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Glabrous perennial from a taproot and short rhizome, the stem thin and hollow, sprawling, 2-5 dm. long.


Leaves odd-pinnate, 4-8 cm. long, with short petioles; leaflets usually 5, elliptic to obovate, 1-2 cm. long; stipules membranous, 3-10 mm. long.


Inflorescence of head-like umbels on elongate peduncles, with a (usually) trifoliate bract at the tip; umbels 3- to 12-flowered, with very short pedicels; flowers 10-15 mm. long, pea-like; calyx tubular, 4-8 mm. long, the 2 upper teeth joined less the half of their length, the lower 3 awl-shaped; corolla pinkish- to purplish-tinged, the keel purple-tipped, considerably exceeding the calyx.


Pod 3-6 cm. long, 1.5-2 mm. broad.

Accepted Name:
Hosackia gracilis Benth.
Publication: Trans. Linn. Soc. London 17(3): 365. 1836. 1836.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Lotus formosissimus Greene [HC]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Hosackia gracilis in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Hosackia gracilis checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Hosackia gracilis atlas page.

CalPhotos: Hosackia gracilis photos.

USDA Plants: Hosackia gracilis information.

10 photographs:
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