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golden banner, golden pea, mountain buck-bean, mountain golden-banner, mountain golden-pea, mountain thermopsis

Habit Herbs delicate, 2–8(–10) dm, glabrate, appressed-pubescent, or thinly villous.

slender, erect, solitary or clustered, moderately or few-branched, from woody rootstock or rhizomes;

branches ascending at 20–45º, weakly or moderately zigzag.


stipules persistent, widely ovate or elliptic, 1.7–4.5 × 0.7–2.5 cm, base oblique to cuneate, apex acuminate or acute;

petiole 1–4 cm;

leaflet blades elliptic or obovate, 3.5–8 × 0.7–3(–5) cm, lateral veins 6–11 pairs, conspicuously net-veined abaxially or not, apex acute or obtuse, sometimes short-mucronate or emarginate, surfaces sparsely appressed-pubescent or glabrous.


6–25-flowered, 4–25 cm;

flowers in whorls of 2 or 3 or scattered.


2–8 cm;

bracts semipersistent, narrowly elliptic or elliptic to widely ovate, 6–10 × 2.5–6 mm.


3.5–5 mm, villosulous.


1.6–2.2 cm;

calyx 9–11 × 5–8 mm at limb, lobes 3–5 mm, shorter than tube;

wings and keel petals asymmetrically oblong-elliptic;

ovary velutinous or densely appressed-pubescent;

ovules 10–16.


ascending, straight, 4.5–6.5 × 0.4–0.6 cm, villosulous or appressed-pubescent.


6–16, brown-black, oblong, 3.5–5 × 2.5–3 mm, beaked.

Thermopsis montana

from USDA
North America
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]

Varieties 2 (2 in the flora).

The strictly erect fruits distinguish Thermopsis montana from T. gracilis and from the superficially similar T. divaricarpa. Intermediate populations and possible hybrids are discussed under T. divaricarpa by C. J. Chen et al. (1994).

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

1. Herbs 2–7 dm, appressed-pubescent to thinly villous; stems solitary or clustered, few-branched, from woody rootstock or rhizomes; leaflet blades not conspicuously net-veined abaxially; floral bracts elliptic to widely ovate.
var. montana
1. Herbs 5–8(–10) dm, glabrate to sparsely appressed-pubescent; stems clustered, several-branched, from woody rootstock; leaflet blades conspicuously net-veined abaxially; floral bracts narrowly elliptic.
var. ovata
Source FNA vol. 11.
Parent taxa Fabaceae > subfam. Faboideae > Thermopsis
Sibling taxa
T. californica, T. divaricarpa, T. fraxinifolia, T. gracilis, T. macrophylla, T. mollis, T. rhombifolia, T. robusta, T. villosa
Subordinate taxa
T. montana var. montana, T. montana var. ovata
Synonyms T. rhombifolia var. montana
Name authority Nuttall in J. Torrey and A. Gray: Fl. N. Amer. 1: 388. (1840)
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