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Showy Locoweed

Oxytropis splendens

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Oxytropis (ok-SEE-troh-pus) (Info)
Species: splendens (SPLEN-denz) (Info)


Alpines and Rock Gardens


Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:



Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer


Grown for foliage



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 22, 2008, altagardener from Calgary, AB (Zone 3b) wrote:

From E. H. Moss (1959), rev. J. G. Packer (1983), Flora of Alberta:
"Caespitose herb, densely long-silky and villose throughout; leaves 7-26 cm long; leaflets numerous, mostly in whorls of 3-4 in 7-15 fascicles, a few sometimes opposite or scattered, lanceolate to oblong-elliptic; scapes erect, 10-36 cm long; racemes 12-35 flowered, dense, spike-like, 3-8 cm long; calyx densely villose; corolla 10-15 mm long, blue to reddish purple, drying violet; keel 10-11.5mm long; pods ovoid, 10-17mm long, densely villose, short-beaked, thinly chartaceous"; "grassy slopes, open woods, gravelly banks. Alas, Yuk, Mack, to Lk Superior s to seBC, NM, ND, nMinn".

Yes, it is an excellent, non-problematic rock garden or xeriscape plant!


On Mar 17, 2005, Todd_Boland from St. John's, NL (Zone 5b) wrote:

Of all the locoweed species, this one is perhaps the most lovely. The foliage is silvery-white and the violet flowers contrast beautifully. It is more upright than many Oxytropis and one of the tallest. I've never grown it in cultivation, but it should make a great plant for a xeric rock garden.