Common deerweed, also called California broom
or broom lotus, is a low bushy, suffruticose, somewhat erect shrub growing
to about 4' tall with greenish, glabrous to finely strigose herbage.
The leaves are alternate with three to six pinnately-arranged
oblong to elliptic leaflets (generally three on the upper stems) from
1/4" to 3/8" long. The flowers are papilionaceous and sessile
in 1-5-flowered axillary umbels. The calyx is about 1/8"
long and 5-toothed, and the corolla is 1/4" to 3/8" long,
yellow aging to red, with the wings about as long as the keel. There
are nine united stamens and one free. The fruit is an indehiscent,
glabrous, slightly curved, two-seeded pod to 5/8" long tapering
to a subulate beak. Deerweed is common on dry slopes, flats and
washes below 5000' in coastal strand, coastal sage scrub and chaparral
especially as a successional stage after burns, often covering dry hillsides
and becoming dominant in the second year after a fire. It blooms
from March to August and extends from Lower California to Humboldt County.
These pictures were taken in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Acmispon 2) glaber.
Pronunciation: ak-MIS-pon GLAY-ber.
Click here for Botanical
Formerly Lotus scoparius var. scoparius