Astragalus cliffordii (Clifford's milkvetch)

Astragalus cliffordii (Clifford's milkvetch)

Photograph by David Schleser, © 2007 at (2007)
Scientific Name with Author
Astragalus cliffordii S. Welsh & N.D. Atwood
Common Name
Clifford's milkvetch
Rare Plant Conservation Scorecard Summary
Overall Conservation Status Documented Threats Actions Needed

No Information

Status surveys on abundance, distribution and threats

Caulescent perennial, 3.5-6.5 dm tall; basifixed pubescent; stems buried for 1-6 cm, erect-ascending, forming diffuse clumps; stipules 1.5-4.5 mm long, some connate-sheathing; leaves 3.5-6.5 cm long; leaflets 5-7 (9), linear, acute, strigose, 8-28 mm long, 0.4-1 mm wide; peduncles 1.2-12 cm long, racemes loosely 5-19 flowered, ascending; flowers pea-like; calyx 1.8-3 mm long, the tube 1.2-1.8 mm long; petals pale, faintly suffused with purple, 4.3-6.1 mm long; pods declined, 9-12 mm long, the body elliptic to oblong, straight or slightly curved, subinflated, 9-9.8 mm long, 2.5-3 mm wide, compressed, glabrous, unilocular; ovules 4 or 5. Flowers mid May to June.
Similar Species
Astragalus cliffordii can be distinguished from A. wingatanus by the presence of its filiform peduncles and rachis, confluent terminal leaflet, and the tiny pale flowers with lilac penciled lines on the banner.
New Mexico: McKinley, Sandoval, San Juan counties. Arizona: Navajo County.
Rim rock ledges of the Mesa Verde Group, in sagebrush and pinyon-juniper woodland; 2,070 m (6,800 ft).
Astragalus cliffordii is named for Navajo botanist Arnold Clifford.
Conservation Considerations
An inventory of potential habitat in New Mexico is needed to determine its abundance and distribution and whether current land uses pose a threat to this plant.
Important Literature

Welsh, S.L., N.D. Atwood, S. Goodrich and L.C. Higgins. 2003. A Utah Flora, 3rd ed. Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

Information Compiled By
Kenneth D. Heil 2007; updated 2017 (D.Roth)

For distribution maps and more information, visit Natural Heritage New Mexico