HEDYSARUM boreale (Utah Sweetvetch) is a perennial flowering plant native to the western United States, particularly the Intermountain West region. It is a member of the Fabaceae family and is known for its attractive flowers and ability to fix nitrogen in the soil.
Utah Sweetvetch is a herbaceous perennial that typically grows to a height of 1 to 3 feet (30 to 90 cm) and spreads about 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 cm) wide. It has a bushy growth habit with numerous stems arising from a central base. The leaves are compound, with several pairs of leaflets that are grayish-green in color. The plant produces tall, erect spikes of flowers.
The flowers of Hedysarum boreale are the highlight of this plant. They are borne on long stalks and are typically pink to purplish in color. The individual flowers are pea-like in shape and form dense clusters along the spike. The flowers are attractive to pollinators, such as bees and butterflies.
Utah Sweetvetch typically blooms from late spring to early summer, depending on the specific growing conditions and climate. The flowering period can vary, but it generally produces an abundance of flowers during this time. Utah Sweetvetch flowers provide nectar for pollinators, including bees and butterflies. The plant also serves as a host for certain butterfly larvae. Additionally, as a nitrogen-fixing plant, it contributes to soil health and the overall ecosystem.
Hedysarum boreale thrives in full sun to partial shade. It prefers well-drained soil and can tolerate various soil types, including sandy or rocky soils. It is adapted to arid and semi-arid regions and can withstand drought conditions once established. Utah Sweetvetch is a cold-hardy plant and can tolerate freezing temperatures.
One of the notable characteristics of Utah Sweetvetch is its ability to fix nitrogen in the soil. Like other legumes, it forms a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria in its root nodules. This process helps improve soil fertility and makes Utah Sweetvetch valuable for ecological restoration and soil improvement projects.
Hedysarum boreale, or Utah Sweetvetch, is a versatile perennial plant that adds beauty to natural landscapes while also contributing to soil health through nitrogen fixation. Its attractive flowers and adaptability to arid environments make it a valuable addition to restoration projects and garden settings in the Intermountain West region and other similar climates.
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Scientific Name: Hedysarum Boreale
Common Name: Utah Sweet vetch
Plant Type: Perennial
Native Range: United States
Full Growth Height: 24 "
Zones: 3 to 9
Exposure: Full Sun
Blooming Season: Spring (Late), Summer (Early)
Flower: Cut Flowers, Showy
Attracts: Butterflies, Birds, Insects
Flower Color: Purple, Pink
Tolerate: Deer, Drought
Water Requirement: Low
Soil Type: Well-Drained, Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH: Alkaline, Neutral, Acid
Gardening Uses: Dried Flower Arrangements, Beds and Borders, Indoor Gardens