Astragalus miser Douglas ex Hook.
timber milk-vetch (timber milkvetch)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Bryan Kelly-McArthur     (Photo ID #70268)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Astragalus miser
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial herb from a taproot and branching stem-base, often with rhizomes; stems several to many, tufted, decumbent to erect, 10-40 cm long/tall, with short, appressed, unbranched (in ours) hairs.
Alternate, pinnately compound, 3-15 cm long, stalked; leaflets 7 to 21, linear to lance-oblong or oval, 5-30 mm long, greyish appressed-hairy on both surfaces or green and glabrous above; stipules lanceolate, 2-7 mm long, fused into a membranous sheath.
Inflorescence a loose to compact, axillary raceme of 3 to 20 more or less spreading, pea-like flowers, the racemes 1-10 cm long on slender stalks from shorter to longer than the leaves; corollas 8-12 mm long, from white or yellowish to bluish, the banner and wings with blue to pinkish-purple pencilling, the banner slightly longer than the wings and the purple-tipped keel; calyces 3-6 mm long, white or black appressed-hairy, the teeth triangular-awl-shaped, about 1 mm long.
Pods, narrowly oblong, nearly unstalked, drooping, glabrous to hairy, 1.5-2.5 cm long, flattened or not, becoming papery, 1-chambered.
Two varieties occur in BC:

1. Leaflets equally hairy on both sides, the foliage silvery or frosted; calyces 4.5-6 mm long; keels 8-10.5 mm long.......................... var. miser

1. Leaflets glabrous or becoming so above, if hairy then the flowers much smaller; calyces less than 4 mm long; keels 6-8 mm long.............................. var. serotinus (A. Gray) Barn.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Astragalus miser

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)
998 100 2520
Slope Gradient (%)
22 0 360

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

204 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 0 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

AT(1), BG(93), BWBS(1), ESSF(32), ICH(11), IDF(1012), IMA(1), MS(126), PP(229), SBPS(17), SBS(3)

Habitat and Range

Mesic to dry grasslands, sagebrush flats, meadows, thickets, bluffs, roadsides, rocky slopes and forest openings from the steppe to lower alpine zones; common in BC S of 53degreeN and E of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, rare northward to 57degreeN; E to SW AB and S to C WA (var. serotinus) and S to ID, MT and NE WA (var. miser).

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia