Blue/Purple Milkvetch (10)

The Astragalus genus is very large and individual species are identified by their seed pod rather than their flower or leaves. Common names include Milkvetch and Locoweed. Flowers are in clusters and have five petals, a banner, wings and keel. The lower petal, the keel, of the Milkvetch is rounded while the Locoweed is pointed. All of them have leaves divided into leaflets. These are a few of the many that have bluish/lavender/purplish flowers. See Pink Milkvetch and White Milkvetch for more. The identification is not 100% certain on all and I have included one as yet unidentified (UFO).

Astragalus agrestis

Field Milkvetch
Astragalus agrestis

Family: Pea (Fabaceae)
AKA: Purple Milkvetch, Purple Loco
Picture taken on: June 9, 2004
Location: Almont, CO
Life Zones: Foothills and montane
Habitat: Moist meadows, woodlands, openings

Grows to 12" in clumps with soft, green leaves. Flowers grow in a tight cluster at the top of the stem and have short, black hairs on the calyx.

Astragalus alpinus

Alpine Milkvetch
Astragalus alpinus

Family: Pea (Fabacea)
AKA:
Picture taken on:
June 16, 2007
Location: Copper Creek Trail, GV, CO
Life Zones: Montane to alpine
Habitat: Moist, shady meadows

Grows to 10" in patches of many plants. Leaves arch from the base. Flowers are white to purple.

astragalus alpinus

Astragalus lentiginosus

Freckled Milkvetch
Astragalus lentiginosus

Family: Pea (Fabaceae)
AKA: Speckled Milkvetch
Picture taken on: April 26, 2010
Location: White Rock, NM
Life Zones: Foothills
Habitat: Roadsides, openings

Grows to 16" in a sprawling mass of reddish stems, hairless, greyish-green leaves and pink-purple flowers.  It is a very variable species. The experts have identified 35-38 varieties. These are two. arrow

Astragalus lentiginosus

Astragalus lentiginosus


Picture taken on: April 26, 2014
Location: Abiquiui, NM

Seed pods are plump, smooth and grooved and not always freckled.

Astragalus lentiginosus

Astragalus missouriensis

Missouri Milkvetch
Astragalus missouriensis

Family: Pea (Fabaceae)
AKA: Purple Milkvetch
Picture taken on: April 28, 2010
Location: White Rock, NM
Life Zones: Plains to foothills
Habitat: Dry openings in pinyon- juniper and sagebrush

Grows sprawling to 5". Leaflets are silvery-green and oval, arching or laying on the ground. Flowers are up to 1" long and are purple with a white splash. Seedpods are 1" long, slightly hairy and slightly curved.

Astragalus

Leadville Milkvetch
Astragalus molybdenus

Family: Pea (Fabaceae)
AKA:
Picture taken on: July 2, 2010
Location: Cottonwood Pass Rd, CO
Life Zones: Subalpine and alpine
Habitat: Forest floor

Low growing. Tiny lavender flowers have white stripes on the banner. Hairy, small, grayish-green leaves have folded leaflets.

Astragalus multiflorus

Many-flowered Milkvetch
Astragalus multiflorus (A. tenellus)

Family: Pea (Fabaceae)
AKA:
Picture taken on: June 10, 2006
Location: Jack's Cabin Cutoff, GV, CO
Life Zones: Foothills to montane
Habitat: Openings, roadsides, woodlands

Growing to 1ft with bright green leaves and many small purple flowers. The seed pods are small and flat with black sepals. arrow

 

Identified from SWColoradoWildflowers. I am unclear whether this is the same species as Loose-flower Milkvetch also named A. tenellus which I identified from Northern Prairie Research Center.

Astragalus nuttallianus

Small-flowered Milkvetch
Astragalus nuttallianus var. austrinus

Family: Pea (Fabaceae)
AKA: Turkeypeas
Picture taken on: April 29, 2010
Location: White Rock Canyon, NM
Life Zones: Foothills
Habitat: Dry areas, openings

Grows to 1ft high but can be sprawling. It has a few tiny purple and white flowers at the top of the stem. Leaflets are green with hairs on the upper edges. Seed pods are red.

Astragalus nuttallianus

Turkeypeas
Astragalus nuttallianus var. micranthiformis

Family: Pea (Fabaceae)
AKA:
Picture taken on: May 7, 2014
Location: Plaza Blanca, Abiquiu, NM
Life Zones: Plains and foothills
Habitat: Sandy openings

Grows from 1" to several inches in a mat or erect. Leaves are on long stems and have 7-15 leaflets. Tiny flowers have purple banners with a white center. Seed pods are red and slightly curved.

Astragalus bodinii

Bodin's Milkvetch
Astragalus bodinii

Family: Pea (Fabaceae)
AKA:
Picture taken on: July 2, 2010
Location: Cottonwood Pass Rd, CO
Life Zones: Montane and subalpine
Habitat: Moist meadows, forest floors, roadsides

Growing just below timberline at the roadside. Low growing forming a mat with spreading reddish stems. Leaves are light green, slightly hairy with 13-15 leaflets. Tiny lavender flowers have white stripes on the banner but are bigger than A. molybdenus which was growing in the same area.

Astragalus calycosus

Torrey's Milkvetch
Astragalus calycosus

Family: Pea (Fabaceae)
AKA:
Picture taken on: May 6, 2017
Location: Chaco Culture NHP, NM
Life Zones: Foothills and montane
Habitat: Open, rocky areas

Not strictly from the Southern Rocky Mountains, it is found more to the west. A low growing plant, up to 5" high, forming a round mat. Leaves are silvery and hairy. Flowers are about ½" long and have purple banners and white wings.

Astragalus spp

Milkvetch UFO
Astragalus spp.

Family: Pea (Fabaceae)
AKA:
Picture taken on: May 10, 2010
Location: Little Wildhorse Canyon, UT
Life Zones: Foothills
Habitat: Dry sandy rocky areas

Grows to three inches with small, hairy leaves. Flower banner is pale lilac striped, the wings purple. Unfortunately there were no seed pods. Could be A. naturitensis.

Blue/Purple Long Clusters | Blue/Purple Round Clusters | Pink Round Clusters