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Pursh Loco Milkvetch
Astragalus purshii

About Pursh Loco Milkvetch (Astragalus purshii) Astragalus purshii is a species of milkvetch known by the common names woollypod milkvetch and Pursh's milkvetch. It is native to much of western North America, including the southwestern provinces of Canada and the northwestern United States, where it is known from many types of habitat. This is a small perennial herb forming clumps on the ground no taller than 14 centimeters. The leaves are up to 15 centimeters long and are made up of many oval or rounded leaflets. Stems and leaflets are coated in woolly white hairs. The flower cluster is a cluster of 1 to 11 pink, purple, or white flowers each between 1 and 3 centimeters long. The fruit is a legume pod up to 3 centimeters long which is coated densely in thick white hairs.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
7.2 in (18.3 cm)


Growth Rate

Flower Color
White, Pink, Purple

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Dry flats, slopes


Elevation ?
631' - 12253'

Annual Precip. ?
5.0" - 119.6"

Summer Precip. ?
0.20" - 3.71"

Coldest Month ?
22.0° F - 53.9° F

Hottest Month ?
41.6° F - 78.4° F

Humidity ?
0.59 vpd - 31.15 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers sandy or loamy soils. Does not grow well in clay soils.

Landscaping Information
Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment.

Nursery Availability
Rarely Available

Other Names
Common Names
Pursh's Milkvetch, Woollypod 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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