Oxytropis sericea


Oxytropis sericea – white locoweed, Wonderland Lake Trail, Boulder, Colorado. Acknowledgment. Ron Wittmann identified a great many plants for me.


Don’t eat this: if it’s not safe for cattle grazing, it’s probably not safe for human consumption, either.

Indeed. I remember being warned about it by my father on our walks on the outskirts of Redlands, CA.

I don’t recognise white locoweed but we (UK) have a different weed that is harmful to horses in particular but other to livestock as well. It has many names but I know it as Common Ragwort, Jacobaea vulgaris or Senecio jacobaea.

Its poisonous effect comes from alkaloids in the plant. It is a food plant for the larvae of the Cinnabar moth (Tyria jacobaeae. Indeed, the Cinnabar moth larvae are voracious feeders on ragwort - my grandson and I watched a ragwort plant being eaten to the ground in well under an hour by Cinnabar larvae. The alkaloids make the larvae distasteful and both the larvae and the moth have bright warning colours.

The Scottish Agricultural College have a pdf report on ragwort poisoning:


And Wiki has articles on Common Ragwort and on the Cinnabar moth but, no doubt, there are many other articles.

I got a really nice shot of a flower fly the other day … any way I can get it guest posted here?

My Canon Powershot has a “super closeup” mode – “bugs” are hard to shoot but it does a nice job. I patrol my yard once a day or so to see if I can find targets.

I got a really nice shot of a flower fly the other day … any way I can get it guest posted here?

Sure - I’ll contact you privately. Just send me the biological and common names and perhaps a link to a relevant Web site. Reduce the information (tee hee!) content to 600 pixels across if you have the technology.


This is either Astragalus drummondii or A. bisulcatus. (Hard to tell from the picture.) Did I call this Oxytropis?

Did I call this Oxytropis?

Yep, I sent you 2 photos – the other a sand lily – and said this one looked kind of vetchy. So O. sericea is incorrect?

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on May 24, 2010 12:00 PM.

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