Oxytropis campestris (L.) DC.
St. John Oxytrope
Habitat: Calcareous rocks and gravels along St. John River. [Non-tidal rivershore (non-forested, seasonally wet)]
Range: Newfoundland to James Bay, south to the St. John River (New Brunswick and Maine), and Levis County, Quebec.
Aids to Identification: This small member of the Pea family is indentified by its leaves bearing 7-31 narrow elliptic leaflets, the lack of an above-ground stem (i.e. leaves all in a cluster), and leafless flowering stalks bearing purple flowers in a 2-4 cm long raceme. The mature fruit is a small, pubescent legume.
Ecological characteristics: In Maine, this species is found along the shore of the St. John River.
Phenology: Flowers June - July.
Synonyms: Represented in Maine by the variety johannensis Fern., formerly known as Oxytropis johannensis (Fern.) Heller.
Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 6 town(s) in the following county(ies): Aroostook.
Dates of documented observations are: 1893, 1976 (2), 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1991, 1997 (2), 1999 (2)
Reason(s) for rarity: At southern limit of range; habitat naturally scarce.
Conservation considerations: Populations could be threatened by heavy recreational use.
For more information, see the New England Wild Flower Society's Conservation Plan for Oxytropis campestris-pdf link-118 KB.