Alphabetical Plant Listing

Acmispon glaber (Deerweed)

Deerweed, Common Deerweed, Lotus scoparius


Acmispon glaber (Deerweed) is a perennial or subshrub with many long, flexible green branches arising from a woody base. The branches boast arching sprays of bright yellow pea-like flowers, sometimes adorned with a red splotch on the back of the banner. Blooming from early spring to late summer, the blossoms are borne in 2-7 umbellate inflorescences in the axils of the leaves. The flimsy, alternate leaves are pinnately compound with 3-5 oblong leaflets covered with short, sparse hairs. The flowers are followed by small indehiscent pods bearing one to two seeds. Widely distributed in dry areas of California, Arizona, and Mexico, Deerweed is valued for its flowers and the pollinators that are attracted by them. Flowers and seeds are an important food resource for a variety of insects and seed-foraging rodents and birds. Deerweed is also considered desirable forage for deer, especially in drought years or after fire when growth of herbaceous vegetation is sparse. Deerweed is an important, fast growing, early successional species used extensively in roadside revegetation, erosion control, post-fire mitigation, and habitat restoration in California, especially in coastal and upland sage scrub.

  • Grows up to 1-3 ft. tall (30-90 cm) and 2-3 ft. wide (60-90 cm).
  • Thrives in a wide variety of well-drained soils in full sun. Once established it will want very little irrigation in the summer. Drought tolerant once established. Deerweed can become dormant and drop leaves facultatively during prolonged summer drought, thereby avoiding rather than enduring the worst of annual drought conditions.
  • Occasionally used in naturalistic, dry garden landscapes. Great for butterfly gardens or bee gardens.
  • Can be cut back in late summer or early fall to promote new growth
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for flower galls.
  • Propagate by seed.
  • Native to Western California and northern Baja California.

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Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 11
Plant Type Perennials, Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Height 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, California
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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Molly, Cultivar413, Flickr, By HannaTor, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 11
Plant Type Perennials, Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Height 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, California
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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