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Vascular Plants of California
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Astragalus lentiginosus var. variabilis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key
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.
Species: Astragalus lentiginosusView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb, sometimes flowering 1st year or annual, +- leafy; +- glabrous to silvery-strigose. Leaf: 1--15 cm; leaflets generally 11--27(29), linear to widely +- ovate. Inflorescence: flowers 3-- +- 50, ascending or spreading. Flower: petals +- purple, cream, +- white, or mixed +- purple and +- white, keel 0.65--0.8 × banner, banner recurved 30--50°. Fruit: variable but generally ovate or spheric, widely grooved above and below, generally +- bladdery, +- papery, deciduous; stalk-like base 0; beak generally triangular, flat; chambers 2 below beak. Chromosomes: 2n=22.
Note: Highly variable; varieties often distinct, yet intermediates are common; flower, fruit both needed for identification.
Astragalus lentiginosus Douglas var. variabilis Barneby
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, generally robust, coarse; hairs sparse, appressed, straight to +- dense, spreading, wavy. Stem: ascending, 1--4 dm, flower-stem sometimes 1, weak. Leaf: 2.5--13 cm; leaflets 11--25, 4--17 mm, obovate. Inflorescence: flowers 10--30; axis in fruit 4--17 cm. Flower: petals purple (white), banner 11.1--15 mm, keel 8.4--12.3 mm. Fruit: 12--30 mm, 8--15 mm wide, bladdery, sparsely to densely strigose or +- wavy-hairy, +- firm-papery; beak 3--9 mm, gently incurved. Chromosomes: 2n=22.
Ecology: Sandy areas, especially with Larrea; Elevation: 140--1850 m. Bioregional Distribution: s SNF, Teh, s SnJV, s-most SNE, w&s DMoj. Flowering Time: Mar--Jun Note: Intergrades with Astragalus lentiginosus var. fremontii, Astragalus lentiginosus var. micans to n; Astragalus lentiginosus var. coachellae, Astragalus lentiginosus var. nigricalycis to w.
Jepson eFlora Author: Martin F. Wojciechowski & Richard Spellenberg
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Citation for this treatment: Martin F. Wojciechowski & Richard Spellenberg 2012, Astragalus lentiginosus var. variabilis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 04, 2023.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2023, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 04, 2023.

Astragalus lentiginosus var. variabilis
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© 2011 Steve Matson
Astragalus lentiginosus var. variabilis
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© 2006 Aaron Schusteff
Astragalus lentiginosus var. variabilis
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© 2011 Steve Matson
Astragalus lentiginosus var. variabilis
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© 2016 Keir Morse
Astragalus lentiginosus var. variabilis
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© 2013 Neal Kramer
Astragalus lentiginosus var. variabilis
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© 2012 Neal Kramer

More photos of Astragalus lentiginosus var. variabilis in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Astragalus lentiginosus var. variabilis:
s SNF, Teh, s SnJV, s-most SNE, w&s DMoj.
1. You can change the display of the base map layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).