131. Oxytropis aciphylla Ledebour, Fl. Altaic. 3: 279. 1831.
猫头刺 mao tou ci
Oxytropis aciphylla f. albiflora Zhao Y. Chang, Z. H. Wu & L. R. Xu; O. aciphylla var. gracilis Krylov; O. aciphylla var. utriculata H. C. Fu; O. kossinskyi B. Fedtschenko & Basilevskaja; O. lycotriche Bunge.
Shrublets, 4-20 cm tall, from a woody base, forming hemispherical cushions. Branchlets bearing persistent leaves modified as thorns. Stipules narrowly triangular, 2-6 × ca. 3 mm, scarious, connate nearly to apex, margin ciliate. Leaves 2-6 cm, with 4-12 opposite leaflets not including apical spine; pedicel and rachis persistent; leaflet blades linear to narrowly elliptic, 5-18 × 1-2 mm, apex acuminate and spinescent. Racemes 1- or 2-flowered; peduncle obsolete or to 5 cm; bracts subulate, 3-5 × 1-2 mm, scarious, pubescent. Calyx cylindric, 8-14 × 3-4 mm, slightly inflated after anthesis, pilose with whitish and blackish long trichomes or with only whitish long trichomes; lobes subulate, 2-5 × ca. 0.5 mm. Corolla pink, purple, red, or white; standard 2-2.2 cm, lamina ovate to elliptic, apex rounded; wings 1.8-1.9 cm, lamina obliquely lanceolate, apex rounded; keel 1.4-1.6 cm, beak 1-1.5 mm. Legume ellipsoid, 1-2.2 × 0.4-0.5 cm, inflated, thickly leathery, ± 2-locular, with appressed whitish trichomes and sometimes with long whitish trichomes. Fl. May-Aug, fr. Jun-Aug. 2n = 16.
Sandy areas, stony slopes on hills, gravelly areas on high plains, rocky deserts, N-facing sandy lakeshores, dry hillsides in desert steppes, floodplains in valleys, gravelly and stony areas with Caragana; 500-3200 m. Gansu, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Xinjiang [Mongolia, Russia].