Species: Alpine Sweetvetch (Hedysarum alpinum)

Information About

Alpine Sweetvetch

Quick Facts

Hedysarum alpinum


atkallaq, elagaq, marallaq

Other Names

Eskimo potato




Alpine Sweetvetch in Detail.

Hedysarum alpinum, also known as the Alpine Sweetvetch, is a species of flowering plant in the family Fabaceae. It is native to arctic and alpine regions of North America, including Alaska, Canada, and Greenland.

In Alaska, Hedysarum alpinum is a common plant species found in tundra and alpine habitats. It is a perennial herb that grows up to 1 foot tall and has a deep taproot system that allows it to survive in nutrient-poor soils. The plant has a unique growth habit, with leaves and flowers emerging from a basal rosette at the base of the stem.

The flowers of Hedysarum alpinum are pink to purple in color and bloom in early summer. They are followed by long, narrow seed pods that contain several small seeds. The plant is an important food source for a variety of wildlife in Alaska, including caribou, muskoxen, and ptarmigan.

In addition to its ecological importance, Hedysarum alpinum is also valued by indigenous people in Alaska for its cultural significance. The plant has long been used by the Inupiat people for food, medicine, and ceremonial purposes. For example, the roots of the plant were traditionally used as a food source and were boiled or roasted and eaten with other foods.

Today, Hedysarum alpinum is still an important plant species in Alaska, both for its ecological and cultural value. It is also commonly used in revegetation projects and restoration efforts in disturbed areas.


Pictures of Alpine Sweetvetch.