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Onobrychis viciifolia
Onobrychis vicifolia
Onobrychis viciifolia (Sain Foin)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Foothills, montane. Roadsides. Summer, fall.
Above: Taylor Mesa Road, June 30, 2015.
Left: Hillside Drive, September 7, 2007.

Onobrychis viciifolia has attractive pink and white flowers swaying at the end of tall stems.  It is an alien plant introduced to the United States, especially the West, for roadside stabilization and for fodder.  Fortunately it is not common in the Four Corners area.  

Philip Miller named this genus in the mid-1700s and in 1753 Linnaeus named this species Hedysarum onobrychis from specimens collected in Siberia.  The plant was renamed Onobrychis viciifolia by Giovanni Scopoli in 1772. 

Sain Foin (sometimes spelled as one word) is French for "healthy hay". "Onobrychis" is a Greek name for a now unknown plant; the name is perhaps derived from "onos", "donkey", and "bruchein", "to bray".  "Vicifolia" means "with leaves like those of the genus, 'vicia' ".

Onobrychis vicifolia
Onobrychis viciifolia (Sain Foin)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Foothills, montane. Roadsides. Summer, fall.
Hillside Drive, September 7, 2007.

Onobrychis viciifolia

Onobrychis viciifolia (Sain Foin)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Foothills, montane. Roadsides. Summer, fall.
Hillside Drive, September 7, 2007 and
Lower Calico National Recreation Trail, June 26, 2014.

Onobrychis viciifolia
Onobrychis viciifolia (Sain Foin)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)
 

Foothills, montane. Roadsides. Summer, fall.
Lower Calico National Recreation Trail, August 10, 2016 and September 20, 2010.

In the photograph at left, one faded flower remains at the top of the inflorescence. The green and white calyx and the staminal sheath will soon wither and fall, leaving just the drying seed pod (a "loment") shown in the photograph below.

Each of the indented, prickly seed pods contains just one seed.

               
Onobrychis vicifolia

 

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Onobrychis viciifolia