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Gambel's Dwarf Milk Vetch Back to Plant Page
Astragalus gambelianus

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About Gambel's Dwarf Milk Vetch (Astragalus gambelianus) Astragalus gambelianus is a species of milkvetch known by the common name Gambel's dwarf milkvetch. It is native to California, with its distribution extending into Oregon to the north and Baja California to the south. It grows in many types of habitat. This is an annual herb with slender stems reaching a maximum of 30 centimeters long, but generally remaining shorter. A dwarf milkvetch, it is smaller than most other species of its genus. The leaves are less than 4 centimeters long and are made up of several oblong leaflets, each a few millimeters in length. The flower cluster holds up to 15 purple-tinted white flowers, each generally less than 6 millimeters long. The herbage of the flower cluster is coated in black hairs. The fruit is a tiny rounded or oval legume pod just a few millimeters long.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Annual herb

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

Flower Color
White, Purple

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Open, grassy places


Elevation ?
7' - 5191'

Annual Precip. ?
6.8" - 78.1"

Summer Precip. ?
0.15" - 1.60"

Coldest Month ?
34.3° F - 57.0° F

Hottest Month ?
62.7° F - 80.9° F

Humidity ?
0.62 vpd - 28.72 vpd

Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Other Names
Common Names
Gambel's Dwarf Milkvetch

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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