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

Astragalus microcystis A. Gray
least bladdery milk-vetch (dwarf milkvetch)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jim Riley  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #408)

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

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Low perennial herb from a long taproot and branching stem-base, greyish short-hairy to greenish and nearly glabrous, the hairs unbranched; stems many, tufted, decumbent to ascending, 10-50 cm long.
Alternate, pinnately compound, 3-6 cm long, short-stalked; leaflets 9 to 15, narrowly elliptic to oblong or oblanceolate, 5-15 mm long; stipules 3-5 mm long, at least the lower joined over half their length.
Inflorescence a loose, axillary raceme of 4 to 12 nodding, pea-like flowers, the racemes to 4 cm long on slender stalks longer than the leaves; corollas purple to pink, 6-8 mm long, the banner notched at the tip and purple-veined, slightly longer than the wings, which are longer than the keel; calyces 1/3-1/2 the length of the corollas, the narrowly lanceolate teeth slightly shorter than the grey-black-hairy tube.
Pods, ellipsoid, unstalked, 8-12 mm long, glabrous or with white hairs when young, appressed-hairy when mature, inflated but slightly compressed, papery, 1-chambered.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry grassy slopes to open forests in the steppe and lower montane zones; rare in SE BC, known recently only from Pass Creek; S to ID, MT and WA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Astragalus microcystis

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) 1020 1020 1020
Slope Gradient (%) 0 0 0
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 4 4
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: IDF(1)


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

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General References