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



Looking straight down on plant in above photo




Stem leaf in above photo

Stem leaf in above photo


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, the teeth of the calyx are linear and about as long as the calyx tube. Pods reflexed, oblong, we measured a pod at 7 mm long.

Leaves: Stems leafy, leaves pinnate with 7-13 oblong-lanceolate leaflets, stem leaves alternate. 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 (as of 2021) by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre.

Origin: Native.

How to identify this species of Astragalus:

- Calyx teeth linear, about as long or longer than the calyx tube, Flora of Alberta.

- 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.