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one-leaf clover, wild bushbean

Habit Herbs, biennial; root elongate.

erect or semierect, with hollow pith, glabrescent.


stipules retrorse, lanceolate, 42–60 × 8–15 mm;

petiole 1.8–4.5 cm, glabrescent;

rachis 5–11 mm;

stipels linear, 1–1.8 mm;

leaflets membranous, blades ovate, elliptic, or oblong, base attenuate, apex acute, surfaces strigulose abaxially, glabrescent adaxially;

lateral blades 2–4.5 × 0.6–2 cm, terminal blades 2–5.5 × 0.6–4 cm.


19–46 cm, axes glabrous;

tufts of bracts at base of peduncle persistent, 3.3–6.3(–7.5) mm, triangular, puberulent;

extrafloral nectaries conspicuous at nodes;

bracts and bracteoles subulate.


0.8–1.9 mm.


2–2.6 cm;

calyx tubular, 3–7 mm, strigose or glabrescent, calyx lobes shorter than tube;

corolla red;

banner oblong, 9.5–15 × 8–9 mm;

wings oblong, 11.5–26 × 6.5(–12) mm;

keel 9–16 mm;

ovary nectary disc distally oblique;

ovules 24.


patent, linear, 9.5–10.5 × 0.2–0.3 cm.


15–20, oblong, 2.5–4.4 × 2.5 mm, valves twisting at dehiscence.


= 22.

Macroptilium lathyroides

Phenology Flowering May–Nov.
Habitat Disturbed sites, flat pinelands, oak forests, grassy sandy fields.
Elevation 0–20 m. (0–100 ft.)
from FNA
FL; GA; LA; SC; Mexico; Central America; South America; West Indies [Introduced in North America; introduced also in Asia, Africa, Australia]
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]

Macroptilium lathyroides is relatively common throughout central and southern peninsular Florida; other occurrences in the flora area are mainly in the Coastal Plain. A report of M. lathyroides as a nursery weed in Texas (J. Aplaca 2012) has not been confirmed.

Lotus maritimus Vellozo is an illegitimate name that pertains here.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 11.
Parent taxa Fabaceae > subfam. Faboideae > Macroptilium
Sibling taxa
M. atropurpureum, M. gibbosifolium, M. supinum
Synonyms Phaseolus lathyroides, M. lathyroides var. semierectum, P. crotalarioides, P. hastifolius, P. maritimus, P. psoraleoides, P. semierectus var. angustifolius, P. semierectus var. nanus
Name authority (Linnaeus) Urban: Symb. Antill. 9: 457. (1928)
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