Lotus wrightii

Red and Yellow Pea - Acmispon wrightii or Lotus wrightii
Gallinas Canyon, West Slope of Black Range
New Mexico
July 28, 2016

The Red and Yellow Pea, Lotus wrightii, shown here was photographed in Gallinas Canyon, below Lower Gallinas Campground, on the west slope of the Black Range on July 28.  It is also known as Deervetch, Wright’s Deervetch, and Wright’s Trefoil.  This species was first described by Asa Gray, as Hosackia wrightii - in honor of Charles Wright.  Its current description is by Edward Lee Greene.  Some sources list this species as Ottleya wrightii, described by D. D. Sokoloff in 1999.

Although it has been reported that this species is poisonous to animals it is a favorite browse for deer.  The Native American Ethnobotany Data Base lists several uses of this species by the native peoples.  This species is only found in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.  The BONAP map to the right is under the listing Acmispon wrightii, the light green color indicates that the species is native and “not rare” in the subject county.  Southwest Colorado Wildflowers has an excellent page on this species.

The specimen shown below is an isotype for this species (it is a duplicate specimen of the holotype - the single specimen which is the type for the species).  It was collected by Charles Wright in 1851.

© Robert Barnes 2018-2023