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Swainsonpea Sphaerophysa salsula


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Family: Fabaceae, Pea view all from this family

Description Introduced. An upright-growing plant bearing red flowers on tall, feathery-looking stems.
Height: 16-60" (0.4-1.5 m).
Leaves: pinnately compound, divided into 15-23 small oval leaflets, each 1/4-3/4" (0.5-2 cm) long; hairy.
Flowers: 1/2" (1.2 cm), orange-red pea flowers.
Fruit: oval, swollen pod, to 1" (2.5 cm) long.

Habitat Open disturbed habitats such as roadsides, fencerows, fields.

Range Asia native; naturalized in many areas of the western United States, east to Texas and Kansas.

Discussion Swainsonpea, also called Austrian Peaweed, is considered a noxious or invasive weed in much of the western United States. It competes with native flora and agricultural plants, especially alfalfa.