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Ventura Marsh Milkvetch
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Astragalus pycnostachyus var. lanosissimus
  

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About Ventura Marsh Milkvetch (Astragalus pycnostachyus var. lanosissimus) Astragalus pycnostachyus var. lanosissimus, the Ventura marsh milk-vetch is a short-lived, herbaceous perennial in the pea family Fabaceae,Historically, Astragalus pycnostachyus var. lanosissimus or Ventura marsh milk-vetch occurred in back dune habitat and coastal meadows, and near coastal salt marshes from Ventura County to Orange County. Over the last century seven historical occurrences were known to exist. The species was extirpated from these sites and was therefore thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in June 1997 by a USFWS biologist at a proposed development site. It had only been seen twice in the last century. Today, only this one population is known to exist near the City of Oxnard in Ventura County, all within a 2,854 square feet (265. 1 m2) area (less than 0. 6 of an acre). The population occurs on disturbed coastal backdunes at the edge of the Oxnard Plain on fill material at a closed oil-waste dump site. Since 1997 between 192 and 374 individual plants have been observed on the site. Most of these individuals are seedlings or small juveniles. Southern California coastal wetland habitats have declined by 80-90% and those remaining are frequently degraded. Very little is known about the ecological requirements of this species. This only known population of Ventura marsh milk-vetch is threatened by predation and potential habitat modification and may be susceptible to alterations in its hydrologic regime and competition from non-native plant species. The DFG is working closely with the landowner, the USFWS and other interested parties to identify areas that may be suitable for introducing Ventura marsh milk-vetch as part of recovery for the species. Greenhouse studies on this species are ongoing, as well as research to learn more about the ecological requirements of this species.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Native Status
Natural Setting
Elevation ?
5' - 4182'

Annual Precip. ?
13.4" - 33.2"

Summer Precip. ?
0.18" - 0.79"

Coldest Month ?
46.6° F - 56.7° F

Hottest Month ?
62.1° F - 73.2° F

Humidity ?
1.46 vpd - 18.38 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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