Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Sonoran Desert Flora >>> Papilionoideae >>> Coursetia glandulosa


Coursetia glandulosa
syn. C. microphylla

Pen & Ink © by Michael Plagens

UNARMED.  This is a good clue because many leguminous trees/shrubs in the Sonoran Desert are repleat with thorns, Coursetia is not.

FLOWERS: Pea-flowers with both white and yellow petals contrasting with burgandy sepals.  The calyx and flower stem are copiously glandular. Flowering mid spring through summer.

FRUIT: Thinnish bean pods are covered with sticky hairs when young. At maturity the pod valves twist in opposing directions causing the pod to split open. This may happen with enough force to eject the seed a considerable distance.

LEAVES: Singly compound leaves.

SHRUB: A medium to large shrub (3m) with flexible branches.

RANGE: Common along the eastern and southern parts of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and hence southward into Sonora. Fairly common in the Superstition Mountains. The preferred habitats are rocky bajadas and wash banks.

Fabaceae -- Bean Family subfamily Papilonoideae

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009