Growth Form: Variableleaf Bushbean is a forb/herb and a prostratevine; the stems are slender and woody, the slender stems are covered with soft, weak, thin and clearly separated hairs, stems are twining.
Leaves: Variableleaf Bushbean has dark green leaves; the leaves are compound with three leaflets.
Flower Color: Variableleaf Bushbean has brick-red, reddish -brown, -orange or pinkish orange pea-like flowers; the fruit is a linearpod.
Flowering Season: August to October.
Elevation: 4,000 to 7,500 feet (1,219 - 2,286 m).
Habitat Preferences: Mid- to upper-elevations on dry plains, mesas, rocky slopes, flats often with grasses; soils gravelly or sandy.
Recorded Range: Variableleaf Bushbean is found in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. It is widely distributed throughout its' native Mexico.
Genus Information: In North America, USDA Plants Database lists 5 species (2 native and 3 introduced) for Macroptilium. Worldwide, World Flora Online includes 21 accepted species names. The Plant List has 21 records for Macroptilium.
The genus Macroptilium was published in 1928 by George Bentham, (1800-1884).
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 3 species of genus, California, Nevada and Utah have 0 species, New Mexico has 1 species, Texas has 3 species. Data approximate, subject to revision.
Comments: The brick-red color of the flowers of Vaiableleaf Bushbean is one of the quickest ways to distinguish this species from most other Arizona species.
Importance to Wildlife, Birds and Livestock
Variableleaf Bushbean, Macroptilium gibbosifolium has attractive flowers, the flowers and their seeds may be visited by hummingbirds and/or small mammals including rodents and granivorous birds in search of nectar or food.
Beneficial Value to Butterflies, Honey Bees and Insects
Variableleaf Bushbean, Macroptilium gibbosifolium has attractive flowers, the flowers and their plants may be visited by butterflies, moths, flies, honeybees, Native Bees and other insects in search of food and nectar.
Variableleaf Bushbean, Macroptilium gibbosifolium is a host of: