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Neptunia species [Fabaceae]

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Scientific Name Neptunia lutea USDA PLANTS Symbol NELU2
Common Name Yellow Puff, Yellow Sensitive Briar ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 26800
Family Fabaceae (Pea) USGS Plants of Louisiana Ref. Click Here
Description Habitat: Various soils in pastures, prairies and open areas in woodlands and thickets.
Plant: Prostrate, trailing perennial with branched stems 2 to 6 ft long; stems and leaves with soft (not prickly) spines.
Leaves: Alternate twice-compound leaves with 2 to 11 pairs of pinnae, each further divided into 8 to 18 pairs of leaflets each about 1/4-inch long.
Inflorescence: Globe-shaped, compact yellow inflorescence about 1/2 inch across with many (30 to 60) tiny yellow flowers; each flower with about 10 protruding stamens.
Bloom Period: April to June.
References: "Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas" by Correll and Johnston, "Wildflowers of Texas" by Geyata Ajilvsgi and "Wildflowers of Texas" by Michael Eason.
BONAP Distribution Map

Texas Status:
Native
Scientific Name Neptunia pubescens USDA PLANTS Symbol NEPU3
Common Name Tropical Puff ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 26802
Family Fabaceae (Pea) Southeastern Flora Ref. Click Here
Description Habitat: Dry sandy soils, grasslands. (Specimen in photo found in dry area along roadside).
Plant: Short, sprawling perennial, multiple stems trailing over ground or low vegetation.
Leaves: Twice-compound leaves up to 3-1/2 inches long overall with 2 to 5 pairs of pinnae (larger leaflets), each with many (14-43) pairs of tiny ultimate leaflets, each 1/10 to 1/3-inch long that fold together when touched.
Inflorescence: Asymmetrical-looking globe-shaped yellow flowers in cluster about 1/2 inch across; each cluster has 15-30 flowers, lower ones sterile and the upper bisexual; each sterile flower has 10 yellow protruding sterile stamens that look like petals (petaloid staminodes); each bisexual flower has 10 stamens and a pistil.
Bloom Period: May to October.
References: Vascular Plants of Williamson County, "Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas" by Correll and Johnston, and "Wildflowers of Texas" by Michael Eason.
BONAP Distribution Map

Texas Status:
Native

© Tom Lebsack 2022