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Acmispon argophyllus var. argophyllus 002

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Fabales

Familia: Fabaceae
Subfamilia: Faboideae
Tribus: Loteae
Genus: Acmispon
Species: Acmispon argophyllus

Varietates: A. a. var. adsurgens – A. a. var. argenteus – A. a. var. argophyllus – A. a. var. fremontii – A. a. var. niveus

Acmispon argophyllus (A.Gray) Brouillet J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 2(1): 388. (2008)

Hosackia argophylla A.Gray
Lotus argophyllus (A.Gray) Greene
Syrmatium argophyllum (A.Gray) Greene

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Northern America
Regional: Southwestern USA
Regional: Mexico
Mexican Pacific Is.

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Brouillet, L. 2008. The taxonomy of North American Loti (Fabaceae: Loteae): new names in Acmispon and Hosackia. Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas 2(1): 387–394. JSTOR BHL Reference page. : 388.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Acmispon argophyllus in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2021 Feb 15. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2021. Acmispon argophyllus. Published online. Accessed: Feb 15 2021. 2021. Acmispon argophyllus. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 15 Feb 2021.
Hassler, M. 2021. Acmispon argophyllus. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2021. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2021 Feb 15. Reference page.

Vernacular names
English: silver bird's-foot trefoil

Acmispon argophyllus, synonym Lotus argophyllus, is a species of legume native to California and northwest Mexico.[1] It is known by the common name silver bird's-foot trefoil or silver lotus.[2]

It is native to northwest Mexico and California, where it can be found in the southern California Coast Ranges, Peninsular Ranges, and Transverse Ranges, the Sierra Nevada, Southern California coastal zones, and the Channel Islands. It is found on sheltered rocky slopes in chaparral, conifer forest, and other habitat types.


Acmispon argophyllus is a perennial herb growing prostrate to erect, the base of its stem woody and tough and upper parts coat in silky silvery hairs. The leaves are each made up of pairs of hairy oval leaflike leaflets around a centimeter long.

The inflorescence is a cluster of many tubular yellow flowers each about a centimeter long, encased at the base in a calyx of silky-hairy sepals. The fruit is legume pod generally containing a single seed.

The varieties of this species include:[2]

A. a. var. adsurgens — San Clemente Island bird's-foot trefoil is endemic to San Clemente Island, one of the Channel Islands of California. It is rare.[3]
A. a. var. argenteus — Channel Islands silver lotus is endemic to several of the Channel Islands.[4]
A. a. var. argophyllus — Fremont's silver lotus is a more common variety which can be found in mainland distribution.[5]
A. a. var. fremontii is known only from the Sierra Nevada.
A. a. var. niveus — Santa Cruz Island bird's-foot trefoil, endemic to Santa Cruz Island, another of the Channel Islands, is rare.[6][7]

See also

California chaparral and woodlands


"Acmispon argophyllus (A.Gray) Brouillet", Plants of the World Online, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2018-02-05
Calflora database: Acmispon argophyllus — (A. Gray) Brouillet . accessed 2.14.2013
Calflora: L. a. var. adsurgens
Calflora: L. a. var. argenteus
Calflora: L. a. var. argophyllus
Calflora: L. a. var. niveus
"Botany Photo of the Day: var niveus". Archived from the original on 2009-05-08. Retrieved 2009-08-22.

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