Acmispon glaber (Vogel) Brouillet var. glaber

Common Deerweed, California Broom
Fabaceae (Pea Family)

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 Term Meanings.
Formerly Lotus scoparius var. scoparius