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Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Astragalus nuttallianus - smallflowered milkvetch

Plant Form: Forb

Family: Fabaceae

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Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Annual
General Desc: Annual plant covered with slender, stiff, closely appressed hairs. Stem is prostrate or weakly ascending.
Identification notes: Plants have an evident stem. Flowers are 18 to 23 mm long. Calyx is less than 2/3 as long as the flower tube. Leaflets are 4mm wide.
Height: 2 to 18 inches


Habitat Description: Open grasslands, gravel and sand, rocky ledges.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Riparian, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: Below 4500 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Purplish-blue     Shape: Irregular in elongated clusters     Tubular: Y     Flowering Period: Feb - May
Description: Tiny flowers have a white center with an arching, spreading purple banner. There are from 1 to 7 flowers per cluster.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Grayish-green     Leaf Type: Compound     Leaf Shape: Pinnatifid     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Leaves are generally compound, alternate, and stipuled.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Green turning red   
Fruit Type: Pod
Fruit Notes: Elongated pods curve moderately inward as they dry. They have a groove along the outside suture and the suture on the inward side of the curve is slightly raised. They are 1/2 to 3/4 inch long.
Seed Notes: There are 12 to 16 bean shaped seeds per pod.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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