Like most legumes, broad leaved lotus is nitrogen fixing, helping increase nitrogen in the soil. It is a long-lived, somewhat bushy, rhizomatous, perennial wildflower with pink and yellow pea-like flowers. The seed pods contain speckled red or brown pea-like seeds. Broad leaved lotus is also commonly referred to as big deervetch. It is often found growing in disturbed sites with poor soil, however, broad leaved lotus does best in well-drained medium textured soil. The seeds and foliage are eaten by many species of wildlife, including elk, deer, small mammals and birds. The flowers attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and native bees, and the plant is a larval host plant for butterflies such as the silver spotted skipper. This attractive, yet under-looked wildflower deserves more recognition and a more prominent place in both native gardens and habitat restoration projects.
Seed Germination Instructions
Soak in hot (not boiling) water for 24 hours, then 60-90 days cold-moist stratification. Sow in fall to late winter.