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Common Name: Goat’s Rue

Other Names: Catgut, Tephrosia, Virginia Tephrosia

Species Name: Tephrosia virginiana

Plant Type: Legume

Family Name: Fabaceae, Pea Family





Plant Facts  
Origin Native
Duration Perennial
Distribution in the U.S. Eastern half into Iowa, eastern Kansas and Texas
Distribution in Oklahoma Throughout the state



ID Characteristics

  • Field Identification Characteristics


    • Dense covering of hairs on stems and leaves
    • Erect stems terminating in flower heads


    • Flowers bicolored; pink and white
    • Seed pods densely hairy; elongated with curving tail at tip
  • Leaf and Stem Characteristics
    • Leaf Type: Compound, 1-pinnately 
    • Leaf Arrangement: Alternate 
    • Leaf Shape: Linear-oblong or elliptic 
    • Stipules: Present
  • Floral Characteristics
    • Petal Number: 5, fused
    • Flower Color: Lemon yellow or cream; rose or white
    • Flower Timing: May-August
    • Fruit Type: Legumes



Soil Type Sandy or rocky-loam soils
Habitat Open woodlands, prairies, stabilized sand dunes and roadsides
Successional Stage All


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