The habit of this lotus is reminiscent of an unfolding rug. The very hairy leaves help to enhance its mat-like appearance and the bright yellow-orange flowers contrast with its nondescript underlying substrate. Pollination of the pea-like flowers is accomplished by bees in search of nectar. As a bee lands on the keel, which consists of two fused petals, the pollen-bearing stamens are exposed and cover the insect's abdomen with pollen. As the bee moves to another flower it deposits its pollen load on a receptive stigma.
DISTRIBUTION: Oak, yellow and lodgepole pine and fir forests, open bracken meadows from the Klamath and Cascade Ranges, North Coast Ranges, Sierra Nevada, Central and South Coasts to the Transverse and NE Peninsular Ranges and desert mts.; 850-2750 m.