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Astragalus crotalariae

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About Salton Milkvetch (Astragalus crotalariae) Astragalus crotalariae is a species of milkvetch known by the common name Salton milkvetch. It is native to the Colorado Desert in California and other Sonoran Deserts in Arizona and northern Mexico. It grows in desert scrub habitat, including the Salton Sink in the Coachella Valley. Astragalus crotalariae is a bushy perennial herb growing to heights between 15 and 60 centimeters. It is roughly hairy and has an unpleasant scent. The leaves are up to 16 centimeters long and are made up of several pairs of thick oval-shaped to rounded leaflets. The open inflorescence bears up to 25 reddish purple flowers, each 2 to 3 centimeters long. The fruit is an inflated legume pod up to 3 centimeters long. It is usually roughly hairy and dries to a thick papery texture. Selenium. Like many other Astragalus species, this plant accumulates selenium from the soil. It has also been shown to harbor a selenium-metabolizing Bacillus species in its seed pods.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
0.49 - 2 ft (0.15 - 0.6 m)

Flower Color
Purple, Red

Native Status
Natural Setting
Elevation ?
-232' - 3944'

Annual Precip. ?
2.5" - 25.7"

Summer Precip. ?
0.27" - 1.65"

Coldest Month ?
43.5° F - 59.9° F

Hottest Month ?
64.7° F - 89.2° F

Humidity ?
1.40 vpd - 40.23 vpd

Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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