Astragalus lotiflorus (Low Milk Vetch) - photos and description

Astragalus lotiflorus

Astragalus lotiflorus

Astragalus lotiflorus

Astragalus lotiflorus

General: Low plant, caespitose, stems spreading to erect. Foliage greyish-green.

Flowers: Flowers creamy-white with purple veining, measured to 9 mm long; calyx measured at 4 mm long. Calyx with long slender teeth and white pubescence. Inflorescence elongates with age, older inflorescence measured to 3 cm in length.

Leaves: Leaflets elliptical, leaflet measured at 7 mm long by 1 mm wide. Leaf measured at 5.5 cm long including petiole. Leaves densely pubescent below and thinly pubescent above.

Height: We measured plants to 7 cm tall.

Habitat: Dry slopes and prairie.

Abundance: Uncommon, this plant is ranked as an S4 by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre. We've hiked in Grasslands Park many times in the month of May, yet we've only seen this plant on one occasion (and only two plants). Because of its low growth habit and small flowers, in grassland this plant could easily be overlooked. We were lucky to spot it.

Origin: Native.

When and where photographed: Took the above photos May 20th, on a mowed hiking trail in grassland, East Block Grassland National Park, about 300 km southwest of our home in Regina, SK.