Onobrychis biebersteinii Sirj. - Bieberstein.s Sainfoin.

Taxonomic position.

Family Fabaceae Lindl., genus Onobrychis Mill.


Hedysarum confertum sensu M.Bieb., Onobrychis sativa sensu Ledeb., Onobrychis sativa Lam. var. montana (DC.) Boiss.

Morphology and biology.

Perennial herbaceous plant. Stems 20-80 cm tall. All plant adpressedly, less often squarrosely hairy. Leaves with 5-8 pairs of broadly elliptic leaflets. Racemes oval or oblong, 4-6 cm long. Corolla purple. Fruit is a pod 6-8 mm long, semi-circular, densely adpressedly pubescent, its crest with 4-5 teeth. Flowers in June . July, fruits in July . August. Self-incompatible, cross-pollinated plant. 2n=28.


Caucasus. Endemic.


On herbaceous meadows, debris and stony slopes in upper mountain zone (up to 3000 m).

Economic value.

Valuable forage plant. The species is a rough forage herb, but drought and cold-resistant plant, going high up to mountains. Slightly affected by root rot. Hay has a good chemical composition. Tests under cultivation are desirable.


Brezhnev DD., Korovina ON. 1981. Wild relatives of cultivated plants of the flora of the USSR. Leningrad: Kolos. 376 p. (In Russian).
Galushko AI. 1980. Flora of the North Caucasus: Handbook. V.2. 352 p. (In Russian).
Grossheim AA. 1952. Flora of Caucasus. 2nd ed. V.5. P.358-376. (In Russian).
Grossheim AA. 1948. Sainfoin - Onobrychis Adans. In: Shishkin BK., Bobrov EG., eds. Flora URSS. V.13. P.319-367. (In Russian).

© N.I.Dzyubenko, E.A.Dzyubenko

© Photo by E.A.Dzyubenko

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