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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Browse Milkvetch - Astragalus cibarius

Native Species

Global Rank: G4
State Rank: S4
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 4

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Found in numerous counties in Montana, widespread and not rare in the Great Basin. Many collections are recent.
General Description
Perennial from a short-branched caudex. Herbage glabrate to strigose. Stems ascending, 5–30 cm. Leaves with 11 to 19 elliptic leaflets, 5–20 mm long with rounded to truncate tips; stipules ovate, 2–5 mm long, membranous, mostly distinct. Inflorescence ca. as long as the leaves, dense with 4 to 15 ascending flowers. Flowers magenta with yellowish wings; calyx black-strigose; sepals ca. 1 mm long; banner 15–19 mm long, reflexed; keel 9–13 mm long. Legume erect, narrowly elliptic, curved, compressed perpendicular to the septum, white-strigillose, 2–3 cm long (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Similar to Astragalus lentiginosus, from which it differs in having larger, conspicuous stipules and abruptly apiculate fruits that nearly lack a laterally compressed triangular beak. Also, the flowers of most A. lentiginosus in Montana are cream, while those of A. cibarius are more often purple.

Species Range

Range Comments
ID, MT south to NV, UT and CO (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 5

(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)

Grows in sagebrush steppe in dry soil.

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