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Astragalus tener
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Alkali Milkvetch
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Astragalus tener

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About Alkali Milkvetch (Astragalus tener) Astragalus tener is a species of milkvetch known by the common name alkali milkvetch. It is endemic to California, where it grows in both coastal and inland areas such as the Central Valley, especially in moist places. This is an annual herb producing upright stems up to 30 centimeters tall. The leaves are up to nine centimeters in length and made up of several lance-shaped to oval leaflets. The inflorescence is a dense cluster of pinkish-purple white-smudged flowers. The fruit is a narrow legume pod up to five centimeters long and usually containing two smooth seeds. Varieties: There are three varieties of this species. One, the coastal dunes milkvetch, Astragalus tener var. titi, is a rare plant treated as an endangered species on the federal level. It is probably now limited to coastal Monterey County, having been extirpated from its previous range in southern California. An example occurrence of Astragalus tener is within the two extant forests of Monterey Cypress, Cupressus Macrocarpus, in Monterey County, California.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Annual herb

Max. Height
0.8 - 11.8 in (2 - 30 cm)

Flower Color
Pink, White, Purple

Native Status

Natural Setting
Elevation ?
0' - 2485'

Annual Precip. ?
7.3" - 33.2"

Summer Precip. ?
0.16" - 0.66"

Coldest Month ?
45.7° F - 56.0° F

Hottest Month ?
58.8° F - 77.7° F

Humidity ?
0.44 vpd - 25.28 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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