Astragalus vexilliflexus (Few-Flowered Milk-Vetch) - photos and description

Astragalus vexilliflexus

Astragalus vexilliflexus

Astragalus vexilliflexus
Looking straight down on plant in above photo

Astragalus vexilliflexus

Astragalus vexilliflexus

Astragalus vexilliflexus

Astragalus vexilliflexus
Stem leaf in above photo

Astragalus vexilliflexus
Stem leaf in above photo

Astragalus vexilliflexus

General: Plants straggling to erect, having many stems from a taproot.

Flowers: Flowers pinkish-purple in a loose raceme, flower measured at 7 mm long, calyx with some black hairs and linear teeth. Pods reflexed, oblong, we measured a pod at 7 mm long.

Leaves: Stems leafy, leaves pinnate with 7-13 oblong-lanceolate leaflets. Leaf measured at 35 mm long, leaflet measured at 1 cm long and 2 mm wide. Top and bottom of leaflets are strigose.

Height: We measured plants from 7 to 17 cm tall.

Habitat: Eroded slopes and hills in the south western prairies

Abundance: This plant is very rare, ranked as an S2 by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre.

Origin: Native.

How to identify this species of Astragalus:

- Caespitose from caudex, leafy-stemmed, flowers blue ~ 6 mm, Taxonomic Reminder for Recognizing Saskatchewan Plants.

- Plants low, cushion-like, matted or straggling; leaflets not spine-tipped; flowers purplish or yellowish borne on more less well developed peduncles; leaves with at least 7 leaflets; flowers purple or blue, occasionally whitish; plants with taproots and caudex; flowers about 1 cm long, leaves not silvery pubescent; stems short, densely leafed, leaflets 7 to 11, inflorescence not elongating, pods flattened, Budd's Flora.

When and where photographed: Photos taken June 23rd, top of rocky, north facing hill, west block of the Cypress Hills, about 450 km west of our home in Regina, SK.