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Astragalus naturitensis
(Naturita milkvetch)

[taxon report][distribution map][all photos][line drawing]



Family: Fabaceae

Scientific Name: Astragalus naturitensis Payson

Synonyms: Astragalus arietinus var. stipularis M.E. Jones

Vernacular Name: Naturita milkvetch

R-E-D Code: 1-1-2

Description: Low, subacaulescent perennial, about 10 cm tall; stems 2-6 cm long; leaves to 6 cm long; leaflets 9-15 , strigose with straight, overlapping hairs; flowers 3 -11, pea-like, less than 14 mm long; petals bi-colored, banner white with lilac streaks, wings and keel-tips purple; pods leathery, strigose, curved. Flowers late April and May.

Similar Species: Astragalus cottamii has purple banner petals differing from the whitish banner petals of A. naturitensis. Astragalus deterior is distinguished by its yellowish-white flowers.


Distribution: New Mexico, McKinley and San Juan counties; southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah.

Habitat: Sandstone ledges and rimrock along canyons in piņon-juniper woodland; 1,630-1,880 m (5,400-6,200 ft).

Remarks: None

Conservation Considerations: Occurs within areas of active energy development, but generally not threatened by the current land uses within its habitats.

Important Literature (*Illustration):

Barneby, R.C. 1964. Atlas of North American Astragalus. Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden 13:1-1188.

*Ecosphere Environmental Services, Inc. 1995. The Farmington District endangered, threatened and sensitive plant field guide. Bureau of Land Management, Farmington District, Farmington, New Mexico.

Isely, D. 1998. Native and naturalized Leguminosae (Fabaceae) of the United States. Monte L. Beane Life Science Museum, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

*New Mexico Native Plants Protection Advisory Committee. 1984. A handbook of rare and endemic plants of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.

Peterson, J.S., B.C. Johnston and W. Harmon. 1981. Status report: Astragalus naturitensis. Colorado Natural Areas Program, Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Inventory, Denver, Colorado.

Information Compiled By: Daniela Roth, 1999

Agency Status:
Taxon USFWS State of NM USFS BLM Navajo Nation Natural Heritage NM Global Rank
Astragalus naturitensisSoCSoC..Gp 3S2G2G3


Photo credits in header Peniocereus greggii var. greggii © T. Todsen,
Lepidospartum burgessii © M. Howard, Argemone pleiacantha ssp. pinnatisecta © R. Sivinski
©2005 New Mexico Rare Plant Technical Council