Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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Jepson Interchange (more information)
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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

FABACEAE

LEGUME FAMILY

Annual to tree
Leaves generally compound, alternate, stipuled; leaflets generally entire
Inflorescence: generally raceme, spike, umbel or head; flowers sometime 1–2 in axils
Flowers generally bisexual, generally bilateral; hypanthium generally flat or cup-like; sepals generally 5, fused; petals generally 5, free, or the 2 lower ± fused; stamens 1–many, often 10 with 9 filaments at least partly fused, 1 (uppermost) free; pistil 1, ovary superior, generally 1-chambered, ovules 1–many, style, stigma 1
Fruit: legume, sometimes including a stalk-like base above receptacle, dehiscent, or indehiscent and breaking into 1-seeded segments, or indehiscent, 1-seeded, and achene-like
Seeds 1–several, often ± reniform, generally hard, smooth
Genera in family: ± 650 genera, 18,000 species: worldwide; with grasses, requisite in agriculture and most natural ecosystems. Many cultivated, most importantly Arachis , peanut; Glycine , soybean; Phaseolus , beans; Medicago ; Trifolium ; and many orns
Reference: [Polhill & Raven (eds) 1981 Advances in legume systematics; Allen & Allen 1981 Leguminosae]
Family description and key to genera by Duane Isely.

ASTRAGALUS

Richard Spellenberg

Annual or perennial herb from crown, glabrous to hairy; hairs sometimes forked at base, branches parallel with leaf surface, sometimes very unequal
Stem 0 or prostrate to erect
Leaves odd-1-pinnate; leaflets generally jointed to midrib; stipules membranous, sometimes fused around stem at stem base
Inflorescence: raceme, axillary, sometimes head- or umbel-like; flowers 2–many
Flower bilateral; calyx 5-lobed; banner outside wings in bud, keel blades 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 becoming ± dry; placenta on upper suture
Seeds 2–many, smooth, compressed, ± notched at attachment scar
Species in genus: > 2000 species: ± worldwide (380 in North America, 94 in CA including many rare taxa)
Etymology: (Greek: ankle-bone or dice, perhaps from rattling of seeds within fruit)
Reference: [Barneby 1964 Mem NY Bot Gard 20:1–1188; Isely 1986 Iowa State J Res 61:157–289]
Very difficult; both flower and fruit needed for identification; 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 vars. so identified in key. Fr length includes beak and any stalk-like base unless fruit body specified.

Native

A. argophyllus Torr. & A. Gray var. argophyllus

SILVERLEAF MILKVETCH

Perennial, cespitose, from heavy crown; hairs on leaves dense, appressed or ascending, silvery
Stem ± prostrate, < 15 cm
Leaf 2–15 cm; leaflets 9–21, 4–15 mm, ± elliptic or ovate, tips acute or obtuse
Inflorescence: flowers 1–4, ascending
Flower: petals bright pink-purple, banner 22–24 mm, keel 17–20 mm
Fruit 15–25 mm, 7–12 mm wide, ± widely lanceolate, straight or curved, densely, loosely strigose, early fleshy, then stiffly leathery; chamber 1
Ecology: Heavy alkaline or saline soil
Elevation: 1400–2350 m.
Bioregional distribution: Modoc Plateau (e Lassen Co.), East of Sierra Nevada (nw Inyo Co.)
Distribution outside California: to Idaho, Wyoming, Utah
Flowering time: Apr–Jun, –Aug at higher elevations
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
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Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Astragalus argophyllus var. argophyllus
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