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In spite of the common name, this species is a legume in the Bean family, rather than a grass. The foliage of French Grass has a striking similarity to the foliage of cultivated Soybeans (Glycine max). However, both the inflorescences and seeds of these two species bear little resemblance to each other. French Grass appears to be a species that is often neglected in prairie and savanna restorations, even though it is probably not difficult to cultivate. Another species that is native to Illinois, Orbexilum pedunculatum (Sampson's Snakeroot), is a smaller plant with more narrow leaves and its flowers are usually more white or pinkish white than those of French Grass. Sometimes 'Sanfoin' is used as a common name for Orbexilum onobrychis. A scientific synonym of this species is Psoralea onobrychis.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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