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

Astragalus robbinsii (Oakes) A. Gray
Robbins' milk-vetch
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Paul Handford  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #72754)

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Distribution of Astragalus robbinsii
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Astragalus robbinsii var. minor

Species Information

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Perennial herb from a taproot and branching stem-base; stems usually ascending to erect but decumbent-based, sometimes prostrate on harsh sites, 20-70 cm tall/long, with short, stiff, appressed, unbranched hairs or nearly glabrous.
Alternate, pinnately compound, 5-12 cm long; leaflets 7 to 19, narrowly egg-shaped to oblong, rounded or notched at the tip, 1-3 cm long, glabrous above, paler and short-hairy on the lower surface; stipules egg-shaped, 4-7 mm long, the lower ones joined and clasping the stem.
Inflorescence a loose, axillary raceme of 6 to 25 or more pea-like flowers mostly on one side of the axis, the raceme-stalks 9-23 cm long, longer than the leaves; corollas whitish or yellowish to pale purple, fading bluish, 6-11 mm long, the banner much longer than the wings, which are longer than the keel; calyces bell-shaped, 4-7 mm long, short-black-hairy, the lance-linear teeth 1/4-1/2 the length of the tube.
Pods, narrowly ellipsoid, spreading to drooping, short-stalked, membranous, black-hairy, 1.5-2.5 cm long, compressed, 1-chambered but with a thin partial partition.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic meadows, streambanks, gravel bars, rocky slopes and forest openings in the steppe and montane zones, rarely to the alpine zone; frequent in BC S of 52degreeN and east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; N to AK, YT and NT, E to SW AB and S to CO, NV and N WA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Astragalus robbinsii

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) 1000 1950 2682
Slope Gradient (%) 0 38 95
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
20 227 355
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 5
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: BG(1), BWBS(1), ESSF(12), ICH(1), IDF(2), IMA(5), MS(2), SWB(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