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Astragalus wittmannii
(One-flowered milkvetch)

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

Family: Fabaceae

Scientific Name: Astragalus wittmannii Barneby

Synonyms: None

Vernacular Name: One-flowered milkvetch

R-E-D Code: 1-1-3

Description: Matted perennial, forming low cushions up to 30 cm across; stems absent or less than 2 cm; herbage strigose with dolabriform hairs; leaves pinnately compound, to 8 cm long, with 5-7 narrow leaflets; flowers pea-like, solitary on each peduncle, nestled among the leaves, dark reddish-purple, about 15 mm long; pods almost round except for a small beak at the apex, about 3 mm in diameter, hairy. Flowers in May.

Similar Species: The allopatric A. siliceus has 1- to 3-flowered racemes and ovoid pods that are slightly laterally compressed.

Distribution: New Mexico, Colfax, Harding, and Mora counties.

Habitat: Greenhorn limestone hills and knolls in shortgrass prairie; 1,800-2,000 m (5,900-6,600 ft).

Remarks: Endemic to northeastern New Mexico. At least 20 locations have been recorded for this species.

Conservation Considerations: Limestone knoll habitats are occasionally mined for roadbase materials. Livestock grazing is not a threat to this plant.

Important Literature (*Illustration):

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

Barneby, R.C. 1979. Dragma hippomanicum IV: new taxa of Astragalus sect. Humillimi. Brittonia 31:459-63.

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

Information Compiled By: Ken Heil, Joey Herring, 1999

Agency Status:
Taxon USFWS State of NM USFS BLM Navajo Nation Natural Heritage NM Global Rank
Astragalus wittmanniiAstragalus wittmannii..SenS3

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