E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Astragalus crassicarpus Nutt.
ground plum (buffalo plum; groundplum milkvetch)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ryan Batten  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #52833)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Astragalus crassicarpus
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Species Information

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Fleshy perennial herb from a thick taproot and stout, branching stem-base; stems prostrate to ascending, mat-forming, 10-50 cm long, minutely appressed-hairy.
Alternate, pinnately compound; leaflets 13 to 25, oblong to elliptic, often blunt and notched at the tip, 5-20 mm long, fleshy, greenish, appressed-hairy below, glabrous above; stipules lanceolate, 3-8 mm long, not joined.
Inflorescence a loose, axillary raceme of 5 to 20 spreading, pea-like flowers, the raceme-stalks shorter than the leaves; corollas 2-3 cm long, usually white, the keel often purple-tinged, the wings about equal to the banner but much longer than the keel; calyces tubular, black-hairy, about 1/2 as long as the corolla, the teeth lanceolate, about 1/3 the length of the tube.
Pods, ellipsoid to globe-shaped, unstalked, 2-2.5 cm in diameter, glabrous, fleshy and reddish at first, becoming bony and brownish in age, almost completely 2-chambered.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry grassy openings in the montane zone; rare in SE BC, known recently only from Alexander Creek, Crowsnest Pass area; E to SK and S to MO, TN, TX, MT, AZ and NM.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Astragalus crassicarpus

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 1215 1489 2012
Slope Gradient (%) 15 50 68
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
170 194 270
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: ESSF(3), MS(7)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References