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Astragalus kentrophyta

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About Spiny Milkvetch (Astragalus kentrophyta) Astragalus kentrophyta is a species of milkvetch known by the common name spiny milkvetch. It is native to western North America from central to west Canada, to California, to New Mexico. It grows in rocky mountainous areas, such as the Sierra Nevada, and on plateaus. This perennial herb is somewhat variable in appearance, especially across Varieties: It is generally small and low-lying, growing in spiny mats or clumps. The short stems are hairy. The small leaves are made up of smaller oval-shaped or narrow linear, spine-tipped leaflets. The inflorescence bears one to three white to pinkish purple flowers, each less than a centimeter long. The fruit is a hairy, flattened legume pod 4 to 9 millimeters in length. Varieties: There are several varieties of Astragalus kentrophyta species, including:A. k. var. coloradoensis (Colorado spiny milkvetch) - limited to Utah and ArizonaA. k. var. danaus (Sweetwater Mountains milkvetch) - endemic to eastern CaliforniaA. k. var. douglasii (Douglas' spiny milkvetch, thistle milkvetch) - limited to Oregon and Washington but possibly extirpated from the latterA. k. var. elatus (tall spiny milkvetch, spiny-leaved) - found throughout the western United StatesA. k. var. neomexicanus (New Mexico spiny milkvetch) - endemic to New MexicoA. k. var. tegetarius (mat milkvetch) - distributed throughout the western USA. k. var. ungulatus - endemic to Nevada
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
11.8 in (30 cm)

Flower Color
Pink, White, Purple

Native Status

Natural Setting
Elevation ?
7093' - 13363'

Annual Precip. ?
10.2" - 60.2"

Summer Precip. ?
0.87" - 2.82"

Coldest Month ?
19.2° F - 46.2° F

Hottest Month ?
37.6° F - 69.3° F

Humidity ?
1.40 vpd - 17.39 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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