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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Pottery Milkvetch - Astragalus ceramicus

Global Rank: G4
State Rank: S3S4
* (see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

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State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Numerous locations indicated for Montana in Barneby's Astragalus monograph.

In Montana known from Carter, Dawson, Sheridan, and Beaverhead counties.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Pottery Milkvetch (Astragalus ceramicus) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date =
General Description
Perennial from rhizome-like rootstock branches. Herbage densely strigose. Stems solitary, lax to ascending, 10–25 cm. Leaves with 1 to 7 linear leaflets, 1–12 cm long; terminal leaflet longest, confluent with the rachis; stipules lanceolate, 2–6 mm long, often united basally. Inflorescence among the leaves, open, with few spreading to ascending flowers. Flowers white to light purple; calyx white- and/or black-strigose; sepals 2–3 mm long; banner reflexed, 8–11 mm long; keel 6–8 mm long. Legume ovoid, inflated,15–40 mm long, maroon-mottled, glabrous, papery, pendent
(Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Our plants are varieties filifolius (A. Gray) F.M. Herm. and apus Barneby

Diagnostic Characteristics
Astragalus ceramicus var. apus has sessile or nearly sessile pods in contrast to the stalked pods of var. filiformis and var. ceramicus. Varieties filifolius and ceramicus differ in the latter having the lower leaves ovate to elliptic, while in the former, all leaves are filiform.

Species Range

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 6

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Sand or very sandy soil of sandhills, below sandstone outcrops; plains, valleys, montane (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

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Citation for data on this website:
Pottery Milkvetch — Astragalus ceramicus.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from