Monographs Details: Lotus argophyllus var. argenteus Dunkle
Authority: Isely, Duane. 1981. Leguminosae of the United States. III. Subfamily Papilionoideae: tribes Sophoreae, Podalyrieae, Loteae. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 25 (3): 1-264.
Description:Distribution and Ecology - Insular, most collections from Santa Catalina. Ocean bluffs or under cliffs, dry slopes with coastal scrub and chaparral. Ca. 0-1200 ft. March-June.
Discussion:Syrmatium ornithopum auct. pro parte; L. ornithopus auct. pro parte; L. argophyllus var or subsp ornithopus auct. pro parte. Non Hosackia ornithopus Greene (1886).
H. venusta Eastw. (1898); L. venustas (Eastw.) Hell. (1900); S. venustum (Eastw.) Davidson & Moxley (1923); H. ornithopus subsp venusta (Eastw.) Abrams (1944).
L. argophyllus var argenteus Dunkle (1941).
L. argophyllus var hancockii Dunkle (1941).
Insular Lotus argophyllus includes numerous, isolated populations, several of which have been recognized nomenclaturally. My classification of them as two varieties is arbitrary. Var argenteus includes low-ascending or mat-forming, contorted or diffuse, suffrutescent plants with stems to 1 m. They are cinereous or silky, and the umbels .5-4 cm pedunculate. The legume is at least moderately exserted.
This taxon has hitherto been called L. argophyllus var (or subsp) ornithopus, taking its name from Hosackia ornithopus of the Mexican Guadalupe Island. The latter have clusters of greatly exserted pods, some of which contain three seeds. The U.S. kinds have shorter pods, and only 2 ovules, which is consistent for L. argophyllus otherwise.
Eastwood’s Hosackia venusta of San Nicolas Island, as to specimens, is the same as L. argophyllus var argenteus. Of Dunkle’s (1941) 3 varieties from San Clemente Island, vars argenteus and hancockii, with pedunculate heads, are var argenteus herein, while var adsurgens is referred to var niveus.
Distribution:United States of America North America