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Astragalus
LOCOWEED, MILKVETCH

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: LEGUME FAMILY
Habit: Annual to tree. Leaf: generally alternate, generally compound, generally stipuled, generally entire, pinnately veined Inflorescence: generally raceme, spike, umbel or head; or flowers 1--few in axils. Flower: generally bisexual, generally bilateral; hypanthium 0 or flat to tubular; sepals generally 5, generally fused; petals generally 5, free, fused, or lower 2 +- united into keel (see 3, Key to Groups, for banner, wings); stamens 10 or many (or [1], 5, 6, 7, 9), free or fused or 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, including a stalk-like base (above receptacle) or not. Seed: 1--many, often +- reniform, generally hard, smooth.
Genera In Family: +- 730 genera, 19400 species: worldwide; with grasses, requisite in agriculture, most natural ecosystems. Many cultivated, most importantly Arachis, peanut; Glycine, soybean; Phaseolus, beans; Medicago, alfalfa; Trifolium, clovers; many orns. Note: Unless stated otherwise, fruit length including stalk-like base, number of 2° leaflets is per 1° leaflet. Upper suture of fruit adaxial, lower abaxial. Anthyllis vulneraria L. evidently a waif, a contaminant of legume seed from Europe. Laburnum anagyroides Medik., collected on Mount St. Helena in 1987, may be naturalized. Ceratonia siliqua L., carob tree (Group 2), differs from Gleditsia triacanthos L. in having evergreen (vs deciduous) leaves that are 1-pinnate (vs 1-pinnate on spurs on old stems, 2-pinnate on new stems) with 2--5(8) (vs 7--17) 1° leaflets, commonly cultivated, now naturalized in southern California. Aeschynomene rudis Benth. , Halimodendron halodendron (Pall.) Voss (possibly extirpated), Lens culinaris Medik. are agricultural weeds. Caragana arborescens Lam. only cult. Ononis alopecuroides L. , Sphaerophysa salsula (Pall.) DC. all evidently extirpated. Cercidium moved to Parkinsonia; Chamaecytisus to Cytisus; Psoralidium lanceolatum to Ladeania.
eFlora Treatment Author: Martin F. Wojciechowski, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Martin F. Wojciechowski, Thomas J. Rosatti.

Astragalus
Habit: 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.
Species In Genus: > 2500 species: +- worldwide (380 in North America, 97 in California, including many rare taxa). Etymology: (Greek: ankle-bone or dice, perhaps from rattling of seeds within fruit) Note: Difficult; flower and fruit needed for identification; fruit said to be "deciduous" dehisce only after fruit has separated from pl; 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.
eFlora Treatment Author: Martin F. Wojciechowski & Richard Spellenberg
Jepson Online Interchange
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Citation for this treatment: Martin F. Wojciechowski & Richard Spellenberg 2016. Astragalus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=9291, accessed on August 31, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on August 31, 2016.


Astragalus leucolobus
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© 2008 Thomas Stoughton
Astragalus serenoi var. shockleyi
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© 2007 Steve Matson
Astragalus cimae var. cimae
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© 2004 James M. Andre
Astragalus purshii var. lectulus
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© 2013 Gary A. Monroe
Astragalus didymocarpus var. didymocarpus
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© 2014 Steve Matson
Astragalus nuttallianus var. imperfectus
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© 2004 James M. Andre

More photos of Astragalus in CalPhotos