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Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.

 

ASTRAGALUS LOCOWEED, MILKVETCH

Martin F. Wojciechowski & Richard Spellenberg


Annual, perennial herb from crown, generally unarmed; hairs generally present, simple or branches 2, from base, parallel to leaf surface, unequal or not. Stem: 0 or prostrate to erect. Leaf: odd-1-pinnate (or palmately compound); leaflets generally jointed to midrib, entire; stipules membranous, lower fused around stem into sheaths (stipule sheaths) or not. Inflorescence: raceme, head- or umbel-like or not, axillary; flowers 2–many. Flower: bilateral; keel petals with small protrusion at base locking into pit on adjacent wing; 9 filaments fused, 1 free; ovary (and fruit) generally sessile, style slender, stigma minute. Fruit: generally 1- or ± 2-chambered, often mottled, generally ± dry in age, sometimes deciduous (falling from plant with or without pedicel, calyx, receptacle) before dehiscence. Seed: 2–many, smooth, compressed, ± notched at attachment scar.
> 2500 species: ± worldwide (380 in North America, 97 in California, including many rare taxa). (Greek: ankle-bone or dice, perhaps from rattling of seeds within fruit) Difficult; flower and fruit needed for identification; fruit said to be "deciduous" dehisce only after fruit has separated from plant; many good species appear similar; some species complexes need study. Taxa near province boundaries may appear in > 1 key. Varieties keyed under species for simplicity; species with varieties so identified in key. Fruit length including beak and any stalk-like base unless fruit body specified; fruit depth is suture-to-suture axis. Astragalus tephrodes A. Gray var. brachylobus (A. Gray) Barneby in southwestern Utah, Arizona, near California.
Unabridged references: [Barneby 1964 Mem New York Bot Gard 20:1–1188; Isely 1998 Native and Naturalized Leguminosae (Fabaceae) of the United States]

Key to Astragalus

1. Corolla bright red, banner 35–41 mm; calyx 18–24 mm; fruit 25–40 mm, densely woolly ..... A. coccineus

1' Corolla not red, banner < 35 mm; calyx < 18 mm; fruit often < 25 mm, often not woolly

2. Leaflet ± 1 mm wide, generally spine-tipped; raceme 1–3-flowered, ± included in axil; peduncle inconspicuous or 0; flower, fruit generally 3–10 mm ..... A. kentrophyta varieties.

2' Leaflet generally > 1 mm wide, not spine-tipped; raceme often > 3-flowered, well exserted from axil; peduncle conspicuous; flower 3–30 mm, fruit 2–60 mm

3. Plant generally of California Floristic Province (also Warner Mountains, adjacent Great Basin Floristic Province, D) ..... Group 1

3' Plant generally of Great Basin Floristic Province, Desert, or both, occasionally adjacent California Floristic Province

4. Plant generally of Desert ..... Group 2

4' Plant generally of Great Basin Floristic Province ..... Group 3

Group 1:

1. Annual

2. Banner generally 2.5–3.3 mm; flowers early dense, ascending, then spaced, reflexed; fruit reflexed, 2.8–4.2 mm, width > depth — fruits overlapped, ovate or ± round in top view ..... A. gambelianus

2' Banner generally > 3 mm; flowers remaining dense, erect if banner ± 3 mm, otherwise erect, spreading, or reflexed; fruit erect to pendent, generally > 4 mm, if not then width ± = to or << depth

3. Flower, fruit generally strongly ascending or spreading, in dense, oblong or ± spheric, head-like racemes; fruit 2–4 or >> 4 mm, 1–2-chambered, not or 2-lobed in ×-section

4. Corolla white-lavender to purple; fruit 2–4 mm, 2-chambered, 2-lobed in ×-section ..... A. didymocarpus

4' Corolla generally white; fruit >> 4 m, 1-chambered, generally unlobed in ×-section ..... A. hornii var. hornii (2)

3' Flower, fruit often ascending early, then spreading or reflexed, often in loose racemes; fruit > 4 mm, generally unlobed in ×-section, 1–2-chambered

5. Inflorescence 10–40-flowered; fruit inflated, papery, 1-chambered, 4–17 mm wide, sides generally strongly convex ..... A. palmeri (2)

5' Inflorescence 2–14-flowered; fruit not inflated, ± 2-chambered, <= 4 mm wide, sides parallel or ± convex

6. Plant silvery-canescent; local, Cushenbury Canyon (ne San Bernardino Mountains, adjacent Mojave Desert) ..... A. albens (2)

6' Plant ± green, ± hairy; widespread, not Cushenbury Canyon

7. Fruit body 5–10 mm, tapered to spine-like or hooked beak ± = body; ovules 2–6; fruit in head- or umbel-like racemes ..... A. breweri

7' Fruit body > 10 mm or beak < 1/4 body; ovules 5–20; fruit in head- or umbel-like racemes or not

8. Keel > wings; fruit base stalk-like, receptacle with peg-like extension (evident after fruit drop) ..... A. claranus

8' Keel << wings; fruit base ± stalk-like or not, receptacle without peg-like extension

9. Inflorescence 2–7-flowered, open, axis in fruit 7–20 mm; fruit ± purple or ± purple-mottled ..... A. pauperculus

9' Inflorescence 2–12-flowered, ± dense, axis in fruit 1–8 mm; fruit pale yellow or black

10. Fruit on erect peduncle; seeds pitted; North Coast Ranges ..... A. rattanii varieties.

10' Fruit on spreading or reflexed peduncle; seeds smooth; Great Central Valley, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast ..... A. tener varieties.

1' Perennial herb

11. Hairs branched; corolla cream or green-white (tinged dull purple); fruit erect; n Great Basin Floristic Province, adjacent California Floristic Province ..... A. canadensis var. brevidens

11' Hairs simple; corolla often pink-purple, white, or yellow; fruit erect to reflexed; generally not n Great Basin Floristic Province, adjacent California Floristic Province

12. Calyx 10–12 mm, base with pouch adaxially; flowers reflexed — petals dull yellow; fruit hanging from stalk-like base; n High Sierra Nevada ..... A. gibbsii

12' Calyx generally < 10 mm, base generally without pouch; flowers ascending or spreading if calyx > 10 mm

13. Terminal leaflet not or ± jointed to midrib, joint unlike that of lateral leaflets; lateral leaflets often reduced or 0, spaces between generally >> 1.5 × leaflet width; leaves few, sparse

14. Calyx 8–10 mm; corolla ± white; fruit ± 4-sided ..... A. bicristatus (2)

14' Calyx 4–5 mm; corolla red-pink and yellow; fruit 2-sided ..... A. inversus

13' Terminal leaflet jointed to midrib, joint like that of lateral leaflets; lateral leaflets present, spaces between rarely > 1.5 × leaflet width; leaves generally many, not sparse

15. Plant tufted or matted; stem < 15 cm (generally much shorter), from crown at surface; flowers strongly ascending, plant hairs dense

16. Banner, wings hairy on outside; fruit 5–7 mm, ± included in calyx ..... A. austiniae

16' Banner, wings glabrous on outside; fruit >= 7 mm, well exserted from calyx

17. Calyx 4–6 mm; fruit 3-sided in ×-section, generally < 4 mm wide; hairs of stem, leaf sparse, ± straight, generally < 0.5 mm ..... A. obscurus (2)

17' Calyx 6–14 mm; fruit ± round or 2-lobed in ×-section, generally > 4 mm wide; hairs of stem, leaf dense, curly, often > 0.5 mm

18. Fruit hairs generally > 1.5 mm, hiding surface ..... A. purshii varieties.

18' Fruit hairs generally <<, rarely > 1 mm, hiding surface or not

19. Petals ± white with some lilac, banner 11–13.3 mm; fruit 8–15 mm; leaflets 7–13 ..... A. subvestitus

19' Petals pink-purple, banner 16–18.5 mm; fruit 13–25 mm; leaflets 7–19 ..... A. leucolobus

15' Plant generally open; stem generally > 15 cm, generally from crown at or below surface; flowers in age spreading or reflexed, plant hairs sparse, or both, if plant tufted or matted

20. Lower stipules fused around stem into sheath or low and ± inconspicuous

21. Leaflets of at least some leaves > 22; petals ± white or cream

22. Banner 7–10 mm; fruit 6–11 mm, beak long, hooked ..... A. pycnostachyus varieties.

22' Banner 10–19 mm; fruit often > 11 mm, beak not long, not hooked

23. Plant gray-white-woolly; stipules finely tomentose; Channel Islands ..... A. miguelensis

23' Plant ± green even if hairy; stipules generally glabrous or sparsely hairy or densely strigose; Channel Islands or mainland

24. Fruit base not stalk-like; stems not more densely hairy than leaves; generally coastal ..... A. nuttallii varieties.

24' Fruit base stalk-like; stems more densely hairy than leaves or not; often non-coastal

25. Flowers early spreading, then reflexed; stalk-like fruit base 5–40 mm, ± strigose

26. Stalk-like fruit base 14–40 mm ..... A. asymmetricus

26' Stalk-like fruit base 5–17 mm ..... A. trichopodus varieties (2)

25' Flowers early ascending or spreading, then often reflexed; stalk-like fruit base 2–12 mm, glabrous, strigose, or shaggy

27. Stalk of ovary with hairs minute, dense, ± wavy, ± ascending; lower stipules densely shaggy or not; keel >= 13 mm ..... A. oxyphysus (2)

27' Stalk of ovary glabrous or sparsely strigose; lower stipules ± glabrous or sparsely shaggy; keel < 13 mm

28. Stalk-like fruit base 5–12 mm, jointed at base; fruit ± 2-lobed in ×-section, 2-chambered; High Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada ..... A. bolanderi (2)

28' Stalk-like fruit base 2–6 mm, jointed at top; fruit ± round in ×-section, 1-chambered; s Central Coast, w South Coast Ranges, n Channel Islands ..... A. curtipes

21' Leaflets generally < 22; petals white, pale yellow, cream, ± pink, or ± purple

29. Stalk-like fruit base >= 2 mm

30. Fruit ± narrowly oblong in side view, compressed side-to-side, hairy

31. Calyx tube 5.2–7 mm, hairs ± spreading; fruit body 27–43 mm ..... A. californicus

31' Calyx tube 3–3.5 mm, hairs ± appressed; fruit body 17–30 mm ..... A. filipes (2)

30' Fruit widely oblong, ovate, or ± round in side view, swollen, often glabrous

32. Fruit bladdery, thinly papery ..... A. whitneyi varieties.

32' Fruit swollen, often ± inflated, but not bladdery, not thinly papery

33. Fruit body stiffly leathery or ± woody when dry, ± pendent on a downcurved stalk-like base, 1-chambered ..... A. bicristatus (2)

33' Fruit body stiff-papery when dry, erect or ± spreading — at angle on ascending to ± reflexed stalk-like base, 2-chambered ..... A. bolanderi (2)

29' Stalk-like fruit base 0 or < 2 mm

34. Calyx 8–13 mm; banner 14–19 mm

35. Flowers spreading, 10–30 per inflorescence ..... A. sepultipes (2)

35' Flowers ascending to ± spreading, 6–14 per inflorescence ..... A. webberi

34' Calyx generally < 9 mm; banner generally 5–12(14) mm, except in Astragalus cicer

36. Stem 1–10 cm, from crown below surface; fruit swollen but not bladdery, walls stiff-papery or leathery

37. Inflorescence 7–17-flowered; peduncle ± stout, hairs spreading; s High Sierra Nevada, n Tehachapi Mountain Area, 1750–1900 m ..... A. ertterae (2)

37' Inflorescence 2–8-flowered; peduncle ± thread-like, hairs appressed; s High Sierra Nevada, 3400–3450 m ..... A. ravenii

36' Stem > 10 cm, generally from crown at surface (1–35 cm if from crown below surface); fruit bladdery, walls thinly papery, or fruit swollen, walls stiff-papery or leathery

38. Fruit 1-chambered; crown below surface (except Astragalus pulsiferae var. coronensis)

39. Stem ± prostrate; fruit bladdery, not 3-sided proximally, blunt at both ends, 10–20 mm ..... A. pulsiferae varieties.

39' Stem decumbent to ascending; fruit narrow, ± 3-sided proximally, tapered at both ends, 13–31 mm ..... A. shevockii

38' Fruit 2-chambered; crown generally at surface

40. Fruit ascending or spreading, widely ovate or ± spheric, inflated ..... A. cicer

40' Fruit spreading, bent or curved downward, or pendent, ± lenticular, oblong, or linear-oblong to narrowly lanceolate, inflated or not

41. Inflorescence 12–26-flowered; fruit 10–18 mm ..... A. andersonii

41' Inflorescence 5–10-flowered; fruit 5–9 mm ..... A. lentiformis

20' Lower stipules not fused around stem into sheath or sometimes lowest 1–3 pairs fused into a sheath around stem but ruptured early and seemingly not fused

42. Stalk-like fruit base > 3 mm; corolla white to yellow

43. Plant of islands (San Nicolas, Santa Barbara, San Clemente islands), fruit ± 2-chambered, not bladdery — lower side of fruit grooved; leaves soft-hairy

44. Banner 10.6–12.7 mm; ovary, fruit glabrous ..... A. nevinii

44' Banner 14.2–17.5 mm; ovary, fruit hairy ..... A. traskiae

43' Plant of mainland, if of islands then fruit 1-chambered, bladdery

45. Fls, fruits strongly ascending; leaflets linear or linear-oblong, adaxially silvery-strigose, abaxially less densely strigose, ± green or ± gray; leaves few, sparse — plant bushy, stems wiry ..... A. pachypus varieties.

45' Fls, fruits spreading to reflexed; leaflets linear to widely obovate, both sides ± green or ± gray-strigose; leaves many, not sparse

46. Inflorescence 7–15-flowered; fruit fleshy; Klamath Ranges, Cascade Range Foothills ..... A. accidens var. hendersonii

46' Inflorescence generally 10–65-flowered; fruit papery; not Klamath Ranges, Cascade Range Foothills

47. Stalk-like fruit base spreading-, wavy-hairy ..... A. oxyphysus (2)

47' Stalk-like fruit base strigose or ± glabrous

48. Leaflets generally 9–19; fruit compressed side-to-side ..... A. filipes (2)

48' Leaflets 15–39; fruit compressed side-to-side to swollen, bladdery ..... A. trichopodus varieties (2)

42' Stalk-like fruit base 0 or < 3 mm; corolla white or cream to yellow, ± pink, or ± purple, tinged red-brown or not

49. Leaflets 5–9; plant silvery; Cushenbury Canyon (ne San Bernardino Mountains, adjacent Mojave Desert) ..... A. albens (2)

49' Leaflets generally > 9; plants often green; Cushenbury Canyon, elsewhere

50. Fruit 4–7 mm, generally 2-chambered; calyx 3–4 mm; banner 4–7 mm

51. Stem 3–10 dm; flowers reflexed, 20–100 per inflorescence ..... A. clevelandii

51' Stem 1–4(5) dm; flowers ascending, 2–13 per inflorescence ..... A. lemmonii

50' Fruit 6.5–60 mm, 2- or often 1-chambered; calyx 4–13 mm; banner generally > 7 mm

52. Fruit bladdery, walls generally thinly papery

53. Middle of fruit 2-chambered, beak compressed side-to-side, triangular in side view, 1-chambered; banner recurved 30–50° ..... A. lentiginosus varieties (2)

53' Middle of fruit 1-chambered, beak often not or ± compressed side-to-side, not triangular in side view, 2-chambered or not; banner recurved 40–90°, often > 60°

54. Fls, fruits crowded in head-like clusters 2.5–3.5 cm wide; fruit 12–18 mm, ascending, hairs ± spreading ..... A. hornii var. hornii (2)

54' Fls, fruits, if crowded, in clusters > 3.5 cm wide; fruit generally > 18 mm, often spreading, hairs ascending or ± appressed or 0 in age

55. Banner generally > 11 mm, recurved ± 40–45°; leaflets often > 25 (see also Astragalus macrodon, at 57.)

56. Leaflets 19–29, not clearly smaller from leaf base to tip; leaflet midrib prominently raised abaxially; ovules 29–40; 250–300 m; Peninsular Ranges (sw San Diego Co.) ..... A. deanei

56' Leaflets 25–41, clearly, gradually smaller from leaf base to tip; leaflet midrib not prominently raised abaxially; ovules 34–55; 50–700 m; s Outer South Coast Ranges, South Coast, Peninsular Ranges, nw Baja California ..... A. pomonensis

55' Banner generally < 11 mm, recurved 60–90°; leaflets generally < 25 (see also Astragalus deanei, at 56.)

57. Leaf, fruit minutely strigose or in age glabrous; leaflet margin, midrib green; calyx lobes 0.7–2.6 mm; ovules 51–71; s Sierra Nevada, Tehachapi Mountain Area, Great Central Valley, Central Western California, Southwestern California ..... A. douglasii varieties.

57' Leaf, fruit hairs ± sparse to dense, ± ascending or spreading to ± incurved; leaflet margin, midrib generally purple; calyx lobes 2.5–4.3 mm; ovules 29–52; c&s South Coast Ranges ..... A. macrodon

52' Fruit narrow or swollen, ± bladdery or inflated, walls stiff-papery, leathery, or woody

58. Stem 3.5–10 cm, spreading-hairy, from crown below surface; s High Sierra Nevada, n Tehachapi Mountain Area ..... A. ertterae (2)

58' Stem generally > 10 cm, ascending- or appressed-strigose or ± glabrous, generally from crown at surface; s High Sierra Nevada, n Tehachapi Mountain Area, elsewhere

59. Stem erect to widely ascending, 60–150 cm; sw Southwestern California

60. Flower reflexed; corolla dull lilac; fruit reflexed, deciduous, < 10 mm, densely wavy-hairy ..... A. brauntonii

60' Flower widely ascending; corolla cream; fruit erect, persistent, 15–25 mm, ± glabrous ..... A. oocarpus

59' Stem decumbent to erect, 30–90 cm; widespread, including sw Southwestern California

61. Fruit 1-chambered, thickly papery, ± strongly inflated; flowers spreading; corolla often pink-purple (or cream); w edge Sonoran Desert, adjacent foothills of San Bernardino Mountains, Peninsular Ranges ..... A. palmeri (2)

61' Fruit ± 2-chambered, at least in middle, thinly papery to stiffly leathery or woody, linear to swollen or ± bladdery-inflated; flowers ascending to reflexed; corolla white, cream or pink-purple; widespread (including places at 61.)

62. Beak of fruit triangular in side view, compressed strongly side-to-side, 1-chambered; fruit > 5 mm wide, swollen, both sutures ± sunken; corolla ± purple or ± white ..... A. lentiginosus varieties (2)

62' Beak of fruit acuminate to ± triangular in side view, generally not compressed strongly, generally 2-chambered; fruit generally < 5 mm wide, ± 3-sided, lower suture generally sunken, upper raised; corolla pale to dark lilac, pink- or green-white, or ± white

63. Fruit, ovary glabrous

64. Plant ± glabrous; fruit body 14–24 mm, spreading or reflexed; Klamath Ranges, Outer North Coast Ranges ..... A. umbraticus

64' Plant minutely strigose, especially above; fruit body 20–42 mm, ascending; San Bernardino Mountains, Desert Mountains

65. Leaflets 7–19; banner 7–10.2 mm; calyx tube 2.7–4.1 mm ..... A. bernardinus

65' Leaflets 17–27; banner 12.6–15.7 mm; calyx tube 4.1–5 mm ..... A. tricarinatus

63' Fruit, ovary hairy

66. Flowers generally 3–14 per inflorescence, ascending; fruit erect; stem 5–15 cm; se Klamath Ranges, Cascade Range (also Modoc Plateau) ..... A. obscurus (2)

66' Flowers generally (8)10–40 per inflorescence, spreading or reflexed; fruit ascending or reflexed; stem > 15 cm; East of Sierra Nevada, Sierra Nevada Foothills, Outer North Coast Ranges

67. Plant ± glabrous, especially at base, ± green; calyx 6.5–9 mm; corolla white; Outer North Coast Ranges ..... A. agnicidus

67' Plant hairy, gray to silver; calyx ± 5–13 mm; corolla pink- to lilac-white, wing tips ± white, or ± cream; c&s Sierra Nevada Foothills, e edge High Sierra Nevada, East of Sierra Nevada

68. Herbage silvery-silky, hairs appressed; calyx 8.5–13 mm; corolla pink- to lilac-white, wing tips ± white; e edge High Sierra Nevada, East of Sierra Nevada ..... A. sepultipes (2)

68' Herbage gray-hairy, hairs ± spreading; calyx 5–8 mm; corolla ± cream; c&s Sierra Nevada Foothills ..... A. congdonii

Group 2:

1. Terminal leaflet generally not jointed to midrib, if jointed, ± so and unlike that of lateral leaflet; lateral leaflets often reduced or 0, spaces between generally >> 1.5 × leaflet width; leaves few, sparse

2. Banner 10–14.2 mm; leaflets 3–13; fruit half-ovate to ± spheric, bladdery ..... A. magdalenae var. peirsonii

2' Banner 17–26 mm; leaflets 5–11; fruit plump-oblong, not bladdery ..... A. serenoi var. shockleyi (2)

1' Terminal leaflet jointed to midrib, generally like that of lateral leaflet; lateral leaflets present, spaces between rarely > 1.5 × leaflet width; leaves generally many, not sparse

3. Hairs dense, branched; leaflets 1–7, crowded near leaf tip ..... A. calycosus var. calycosus

3' Hairs 0 to dense, simple; leaflets often > 7, generally not crowded near leaf tip

4. Annual, or flowering 1st year and appearing so

5. Flower, fruit strongly ascending to erect, in dense, head-like racemes; fruit ± spheric, 2–4 mm ..... A. didymocarpus varieties.

5' Flower, fruit ± spreading to ascending or reflexed, in often open racemes; fruit linear to ± ovate-inflated, > 4 mm

6. Keel 10–21 mm

7. Plant densely shaggy-hairy; stem generally << 7 cm, ± prostrate, often ± 0; fruit 1-chambered ..... A. tidestromii (2)

7' Plant ± glabrous to strigose; stem > 9 cm, prostrate to erect; fruit 1- or 2-chambered

8. Keel 17–21 mm; fruit 1-chambered ..... A. crotalariae (2)

8' Keel 10–13 mm; fruit 2-chambered at middle ..... A. lentiginosus varieties (4)

6' Keel 2–10.5 mm

9. Fruit bladdery, walls thinly papery, translucent

10. Inflorescence generally 10–35-flowered

11. Leaflets generally 15–33; fruit 1-chambered ..... A. hornii var. hornii

11' Leaflets generally 11–27; fruit 2-chambered below beak ..... A. lentiginosus varieties (4)

10' Inflorescence generally 2–10-flowered

12. Corolla ± white; leaflets 11–19; upper suture of fruit convex; ovules 13–21 ..... A. allochrous var. playanus (2)

12' Corolla ± purple; leaflets 7–19; upper suture of fruit straight or convex; ovules 7–24

13. Keel 4.8–6 mm; leaflets generally 11–19; upper suture of fruit much less convex than lower; ovules 7–14 ..... A. insularis var. harwoodii

13' Keel 5.9–6.6 mm; leaflets generally 7–13; upper suture of fruit ± equally convex as lower; ovules 19–24 ..... A. nutans (2)

9' Fruit linear to incurved or swollen, ± inflated, walls papery, ± translucent, or leathery

14. Inflorescence 20–40-flowered ..... A. palmeri (2)

14' Inflorescence < 20-flowered

15. Fruit 1-chambered, swollen, half-ovate or -elliptic in side view, ± ovate or round in ×-section

16. Plant, fruit hairs appressed, ± straight, ± obscuring surface; ovules 3–7 ..... A. aridus

16' Plant, fruit hairs ascending or spreading, ± wavy, not obscuring surface; ovules 10–19 ..... A. sabulonum

15' Fruit 2-, rarely 1-chambered, then often ± linear, curved, ± 2- or 3-sided in ×-section

17. Leaflets adaxially sparsely hairy; inflorescence 1–6-flowered; keel < 6 mm; fruit diam often < 3 mm

18. Leaflets of upper leaves generally blunt, notched at tip; fruit early-deciduous, maturing pale brown ..... A. acutirostris

18' Leaflets of upper leaves generally acute at tip; fruit persistent, maturing dark brown or ± black ..... A. nuttallianus

17' Leaflets adaxially silvery-canescent; inflorescence 3–16-flowered; keel > 6 mm; fruit diam often > 3 mm

19. Fruit 10–18 mm, 2.8–3.5 mm wide, incurved, ± 3-sided; ovules 8–11; Cushenbury Canyon (ne San Bernardino Mountains, adjacent Mojave Desert) ..... A. albens (2)

19' Fruit 13–32 mm, 3.5–8.5 mm wide, straight, ± 2-sided, or incurved, ± 3-sided; ovules 20–30; widespread in Mojave Desert ..... A. mohavensis varieties (2)

4' Perennial herb

20. Fruit, generally ovary, glabrous (Astragalus douglasii, Astragalus nutans, under 20', glabrous or not)

21. Leaflet hairs 0 or few, restricted to margins, midrib on 1 or both surfaces; fruit base stalk-like

22. Flowers early ascending, then reflexed or not; keel 9.5–10.6 mm; fruit ± ascending to spreading, ± 2-chambered ..... A. cimae varieties.

22' Flowers strongly ascending; keel 11–19 mm; fruit erect, 1-chambered ..... A. preussii varieties (2)

21' Leaflet hairs ± throughout 1 or both surfaces; fruit base stalk-like or not

23. Keel 6–9.4 mm; fruit 2-chambered, at least at middle

24. Plant often coarse, leafy, generally in open areas; stem not wiry; stalk-like fruit base 0 — fruit swollen, beak compressed side-to-side, triangular in side view, 1-chambered ..... A. lentiginosus varieties (4)

24' Plant slender, sparsely leafy, often in shelter of shrubs; stem ± wiry; stalk-like fruit base 1–5 mm

25. Flowers 10–25 per inflorescence, ascending; fruit ascending, 3-sided ..... A. bernardinus

25' Flowers 5–15 per inflorescence, early ascending, then reflexed; fruit pendent, ± 2-sided ..... A. jaegerianus

23' Keel 9.7–19 mm; fruit 1- or 2-chambered

26. Calyx glabrous; banner recurved ± 85°; fruit bladdery, 1-chambered, base stalk-like ..... A. oophorus var. oophorus

26' Calyx strigose; banner recurved < 50°; fruit ovate or narrow, not bladdery, ± 2-chambered, base stalk-like or not

27. Corolla pink-purple; leaflets narrow, adaxially often paler than abaxially (silvery vs ± green); fruit erect, stalk-like base 0; n Inyo Co. ..... A. serenoi var. shockleyi (2)

27' Corolla white or cream to lemon yellow; leaflets narrow or wide, adaxially not paler than adaxially; fruit ascending to pendent, stalk-like base 1–10 mm; w or sw edge of D

28. Banner 15–22 mm; fruit 15–27 mm, swollen, ± compressed side-to-side; leaflets > 17 or not ..... A. pachypus varieties.

28' Banner 12.6–15.7 mm; fruit 24–42 mm, ± linear, 3-sided; leaflets 17–27 ..... A. tricarinatus

20' Fruit, ovary with at least some hairs (Astragalus douglasii, Astragalus nutans glabrous or not)

29. Plant woolly- or wavy-hairy; stems < 9 cm, generally densely tufted

29a. Leaflets > 21, at least on some leaves; inflorescence 10–35-flowered; southwestern Utah, Arizona, very near California ..... A. tephrodes var. brachylobus

29a' Leaflets <= 21 (rarely to 23 in Astragalus layneae); inflorescence often < 10-flowered (10–45-flowered in Astragalus layneae); widespread

30. Keel 18–28 mm; fruit 1-chambered, densely white-hairy

31. Calyx with more black than white hairs; fruit 25–50 mm; leaf bases not notably persistent on crown; ne Desert Mountains (e of Death Valley) ..... A. funereus

31' Calyx generally with more white than black hairs; fruit 13–28 mm; leaf bases persistent on crown; widespread, including Desert Mountains ..... A. newberryi var. newberryi

30' Keel generally < 20 mm; fruit 2-chambered if densely white-hairy

32. Inflorescence 10–45-flowered; corolla 2-colored, ± white with keel tip, wing tips, and sometimes banner tip ± purple; fruit hairs spreading — plants from deep rhizomes (± stemless plants of Astragalus minthorniae will key out here; see 36.) ..... A. layneae (2)

32' Inflorescence 3–16-flowered; corolla pink-purple or ± 2-colored (± as at 33.); fruit hairs spreading or not

33. Keel 11.5–20.8 mm; petals pink-purple; fruit often ± 2-chambered, hairs spreading or not ..... A. purshii var. tinctus

33' Keel 10–12 mm; petals ± white, tinged dull purple; fruit 1-chambered, hairs generally appressed ..... A. tidestromii (2)

29' Plant hairy to ± glabrous; stems generally > 9 cm (if < 9 cm, plant generally not woolly- or wavy-hairy except sometimes in Astragalus layneae), tufted or not

34. Stem <= 16 cm, from rhizome well below surface; corolla 2-colored, ± white with keel tip, wing tips, and sometimes banner tip ± purple ..... A. layneae (2)

34' Stem often > 15 cm, from crown at or ± below surface; corolla 1- or 2-colored (as at 35.).

35. Leaflet hairs 0 or few on margins, midrib on 1 or both sides; stalk-like fruit base 0 or 2–7 mm ..... A. preussii varieties (2)

35' Leaflet hairs >= few, ± throughout 1 or both sides; stalk-like fruit base 0 or < 3 mm

36. Stem, leaf hairs ± spreading, curly or not, 0.8–1.5 mm; fruit shaggy-hairy, ± erect ..... A. minthorniae var. villosus

36' Stem, leaf hairs appressed, not curly, if spreading then < 0.8 mm; fruit often strigose or silky-canescent, erect to reflexed or pendent

37. Stem slender, wiry, incurved, generally < 15 cm; petioles persistent, wiry; inflorescence 1–4-flowered — plants of limestone, resembling an unkempt nest ..... A. panamintensis

37' Stem slender or coarse, if wiry then not incurved, often > 15 cm; petioles deciduous, not wiry; inflorescence often > 4-flowered

38. Petals dingy white at least at base, dull lilac on margins or tips; wings ± twisted, tips shortly fringed or notched; fruit pendent, ± compressed side-to-side, 2-chambered ..... A. atratus var. mensanus

38' Petals pale yellow or white to ± purple; wings plane or curved, tips not fringed, not notched; fruit erect to reflexed, ± 3-sided or round in ×-section, sometimes plump and widely grooved on upper side, 1- or 2-chambered

39. Fruit 2-chambered in middle, beak often 1-chambered; banner recurved 30–50°

40. Leaflets generally > 11; fruit in ×-section ± round, upper suture generally ± sunken in a wide channel; plant generally robust — fruit beak widely triangular, 1-chambered ..... A. lentiginosus varieties (4)

40' Leaflets 3–11; fruit ± 2- or 3-sided, upper suture raised; plant robust or delicate

41. Fruit 10–18 mm, 2.8–3.5 mm wide, incurved, ± 3-sided; ovules 8–11; Cushenbury Canyon (ne San Bernardino Mountains, adjacent Mojave Desert) ..... A. albens (2)

41' Fruit 13–32 mm, 3.5–8.5 mm wide, straight, ± 2-sided, or incurved, ± 3-sided; ovules 20–30; widespread in Mojave Desert ..... A. mohavensis varieties (2)

39' Fruit 1-chambered; banner recurved 45–90°

42. Of the following, all true: most leaves with > 19 leaflets; fruit bladdery; inflorescence generally > 12-flowered ..... A. douglasii varieties.

42' Of the following, 1 true: most leaves with << 19 leaflets; fruit swollen but not bladdery; inflorescence < 12-flowered

43. Banner > 11 mm; calyx generally > 7 mm; fruit stiff-papery or leathery

44. Keel < 14 mm; fruit pendent to reflexed, 5–10 mm wide; East of Sierra Nevada, Desert Mountains (Inyo Co.) ..... A. casei

44' Keel > 16 mm; fruit ascending or spreading, 10–14 mm wide; Sonoran Desert ..... A. crotalariae (2)

43' Banner < 11 mm; calyx 4–7 mm; fruit ± papery, ± bladdery, or inflated

45. Inflorescence generally 10–40-flowered; petals generally bright pink-purple; w edge Sonoran Desert, adjacent foothills of San Bernardino Mountains, Peninsular Ranges ..... A. palmeri (2)

45' Inflorescence often < 10-flowered; petals ± white or pink-purple; c&e Sonoran Desert, e Mojave Desert

46. Petals ± white; leaflets 11–19; fruit beak short, obscure ..... A. allochrous var. playanus (2)

46' Petals pink-purple; leaflets 7–13; fruit beak deltate, compressed side-to-side

47. Banner 6.1–8 mm; ovules 8–12; n Desert Mountains (Panamint Range), > 2000 m ..... A. gilmanii

47' Banner 7.8–10.4 mm; ovules 19–24; se Desert Mountains, Sonoran Desert, <= 2000 m ..... A. nutans (2)

Group 3:

1. Terminal leaflet not or ± jointed to midrib, joint unlike that of lateral leaflet; lateral leaflets often reduced or 0, spaces between generally >> 1.5 × leaflet width; leaves few, sparse

2. Fruit compressed side-to-side, base stalk-like; banner 9.4–12.2 mm ..... A. inversus

2' Fruit cylindric or ± compressed side-to-side, base not stalk-like; banner 17–26 mm ..... A. serenoi var. shockleyi

1' Terminal leaflet jointed to midrib, joint like that of lateral leaflet; lateral leaflets not reduced or 0, spaces between rarely > 1.5 × leaflet width; leaves generally many, not sparse

3. Annual, slender, rarely persisting to 2nd season

4. Banner 3–5 mm; fruit <= 4 mm ..... A. didymocarpus var. dispermus

4' Banner 4.7–7.6 mm; fruit >= 12 mm

5. Fruit not inflated, 2–3 mm wide; leaflet adaxially ± appressed-hairy ..... A. acutirostris

5' Fruit inflated, 6–10 mm wide; leaflet adaxially ± glabrous ..... A. geyeri var. geyeri

3' Perennial herb, often coarse — flower, fruit > 5 mm (fruit < 5 in Astragalus anxius)

6. Leaf hairs branched

7. Leaflets 1–7 ..... A. calycosus var. calycosus

7' Leaflets 7–25 ..... A. canadensis var. brevidens

6' Leaf hairs simple

8. Fruit densely white-hairy, resembling a cotton ball; stem 0–14 cm; plant hairs dense, of 2 kinds or not

9. Stems forming thickened crown covered by persistent leaf bases; longer hairs of leaf generally straight, some spreading; fruit hairs of 2 kinds, some curly, short, some ± straight, long (see also Astragalus platytropis) ..... A. newberryi var. newberryi

9' Stems tufted or matted, leaf bases not persistent; longer hairs of leaf wavy, tangled; fruit hairs of 1 kind, ± wavy or straight ..... A. purshii varieties.

8' Fruit silvery-hairy or not, not resembling a cotton ball; stem often > 10 cm; plant hairs sparse or dense, generally not of 2 kinds

10. Calyx base strongly asymmetric, pedicel attached at lower side, upper ± pouched; petals white to ± yellow; fruit curved 1/4 to ± full circle, base stalk-like

11. Stem hairs subappressed or incurved; fruit 2.5–4.5 mm wide; lowest stipules not fused ..... A. curvicarpus var. curvicarpus

11' Stem hairs generally spreading, straight; fruit 4–8 mm wide; lowest stipules fused around stem into sheath ..... A. gibbsii

10' Calyx base ± symmetric, pedicel attached ± at middle, upper side ± not pouched; petals white, ± yellow, or purple-pink; fruit straight to curved ± full circle, base stalk-like or not

12. Fruit spreading or pendent, early ± flat, then bulged around seeds, base stalk-like; corolla white, pale yellow, or cream

13. Calyx, leaf hairs wavy, ± ascending or spreading; calyx > 6 mm ..... A. californicus

13' Calyx, leaf hairs ± straight, appressed; calyx generally < 6 mm ..... A. filipes

12' Fruit erect to pendent or reflexed, early ± swollen, then ± round, triangular, or 2-lobed in ×-section, base stalk-like or not; corolla ± white, ± yellow, or ± purple

14. Stipule sheaths (on herbarium specimens or not) ruptured by stem expansion or not

15. Stalk-like fruit base >= 0.5 mm

16. Banner < 6 mm; fruit body narrow, 7–11 mm, 3-sided ..... A. johannis-howellii

16' Banner > 8 mm; fruit body bladdery, > 15 mm, ± round in ×-section ..... A. whitneyi varieties.

15' Stalk-like fruit base 0 (see also Astragalus johannis-howellii, at 16.)

17. Banner generally < 9 mm (< 10 mm in Astragalus anxius); fruit 1-chambered; stem delicate, 1–20 cm

18. Fruit generally compressed side-to-side, ± 3-sided, 3.5–4.5 mm, hairs subappressed, ± straight; banner 6.5–10 mm, recurved ± 60–80° ..... A. anxius

18' Fruit bladdery, ± round in ×-section, 10–20 mm, hairs ± spreading; banner 5.2–8.5 mm, recurved 90–100° ..... A. pulsiferae varieties (2)

17' Banner often > 9 mm; fruit ± 2-chambered; stem often coarse, 0–35 cm

19. Herbage sparsely hairy or ± glabrous; flowers, fruits strongly ascending, crowded ..... A. agrestis (2)

19' Herbage densely hairy; flowers ± ascending to spreading, fruits ± ascending, spreading, reflexed, or pendent, crowded or not

20. Plants cespitose; stem < 2 cm; fruit bladdery ..... A. platytropis

20' Plants tufted or loose-matted; stem > 5 cm; fruit not bladdery

21. Crown at surface; lowest few internodes above surface, densely white-tomentose; fruit ×-section blunt-triangular ..... A. andersonii

21' Crown below surface; lowest few internodes below surface, ± glabrous; fruit ×-section oblong or blunt-triangular

22. Keel 6.7–8 mm; fruit oblong in ×-section, not fully 2-chambered, ± narrowed at sutures ..... A. monoensis

22' Keel 10–12.2 mm; fruit bluntly 3-sided in ×-section, fully 2-chambered, not narrowed at sutures ..... A. sepultipes

14' Stipule sheaths ± 0 (lower stipules not or appearing not to be fused around stem into sheaths)

23. Flowers 1–4 per inflorescence, strongly ascending; corolla pink-purple; stems low, tufted or matted, strigose to spreading-hairy ..... A. argophyllus var. argophyllus

23' Flowers generally > 4 per inflorescence, strongly ascending to reflexed; corolla ± red-purple to white; stems low or not, tufted or not, rarely matted, ± glabrous to strigose to spreading-hairy

24. Fruit ± 1-chambered at mid-section, stalk-like base generally > 3 mm or 0

25. Stalk-like fruit base 2–12 mm

26. Stalk-like fruit base 3.5–12 mm; ovary, fruit glabrous ..... A. oophorus varieties.

26' Stalk-like base of fruit 2–5 mm; ovary, fruit ± hairy ..... A. inyoensis

25' Stalk-like base of fruit 0

27. Keel < 6 mm; fruit 10–20 mm, bladdery ..... A. pulsiferae varieties (2)

27' Keel >= 8 mm; fruit 12–55 mm, swollen but not bladdery

28. Stem ascending or erect, not mat-forming; leaflets > 4 × longer than wide, spaces between >> width; keel > 10 mm ..... A. casei

28' Stem ± prostrate to decumbent, ± mat-forming; leaflets < 2.5 × longer than wide, spaces << or ± = width; keel < 10 mm

29. Herbage, fruit hairs 0 or stiff, straight, appressed, < 0.7 mm; among sagebrush, woodland to barren areas on gravels, sands, volcanic ash ..... A. iodanthus varieties.

29' Herbage, fruit hairs soft, wavy, spreading, 0.7–1.2 mm; sandy flats, dunes ..... A. pseudiodanthus (2)

24' Fruit ± 2-chambered at mid-section, stalk-like base generally <= 3 mm or 0

30. Banner 4.8–6.1 mm; peduncles often in 2s or 3s in upper axils ..... A. lemmonii

30' Banner > 7 mm; peduncles generally in 1s in upper axils

31. Stipules 7–17 mm, ± white or pale yellow; fruit, herbage hairs ± 1.5–2.5 mm, spreading ..... A. malacus

31' Stipules < 6 mm, often ± green; fruit, herbage hairs 0 or generally < 1.5 mm, ± appressed

32. Fls, fruits in head-like racemes, strongly ascending; herbage sparsely hairy or ± glabrous ..... A. agrestis (2)

32' Fls, fruits not in head-like racemes, generally spreading or reflexed; herbage ± glabrous to densely hairy

33. Fruit erect, < 4 mm wide, straight, beak slender, ± tooth-like ..... A. obscurus

33' Fruit spreading or reflexed, generally > 4 mm wide, straight to curved, beak ± triangular

34. Crown at surface; fruit not or ± curved, generally ± as deep as wide ..... A. lentiginosus varieties.

34' Crown below surface; fruit curved at least 1/2 circle, wider than deep ..... A. pseudiodanthus (2)

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