PERENNIAL HERB. Erect, branching at the base from a long, bright
yellow taproot. Plants are about 30 cm
tall, with very smooth, bluish green stems and leaves. Plant
smells like licorice when bruised. Stems are tough.
Elongate fringed calyces give the compact flowerheads a gray fuzzy
look and silky feel. Flowers are bright
purple to magenta. Blooms in April and again after summer rains;
summer flowers may be lighter in color or
even white. Leaves are pinnate, usually with seven leaflets,
with prominent round glandular spots. Fairly
common on roadsides, in small washes, and other flat, sunny, gravelly
areas that get some runoff.
FAMILY: Fabaceae (Pea Family)