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

Astragalus lentiginosus Douglas ex Hook.
freckled milk-vetch (freckled milkvetch)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jim Riley  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #65884)

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Distribution of Astragalus lentiginosus
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Astragalus lentiginosus var. lentiginosus

Species Information

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Perennial herb from a stout taproot and much-branched stem-base; stems spreading to erect, 10-40 cm long/tall, mostly unbranched, glabrous.
Alternate, stalked, pinnately compound, somewhat fleshy; leaflets 9 to 19, oblanceolate to egg-shaped, 5-15 mm long, glabrous at least above; stipules lanceolate, not joined, 2-5 mm long.
Inflorescence a compact, axillary raceme of 8 to 25 spreading-ascending, pea-like flowers, the racemes to 3 cm long, on stalks shorter than the leaves; corollas white to pinkish, 8-18 mm long, the banner longer than the wings and keel; calyces hairy, 3-7 mm long, the awl-shaped teeth 1/2 as long as the tube.
Pods, egg- to lance-shaped, tapering to a beak, unstalked, inflated, glabrous to short-hairy, membranous to leathery, curved, 1-3 cm long, not flattened, 2-chambered.
Barneby (1964) treats this species as a complex of 34 variants. We do not know enough about the range of variation in BC material to partition it among infraspecific taxa, even if a practical taxonomy existed. Therefore we are treating this entity in the broad sense.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Black
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry grasslands and shrublands in the steppe and montane zones; rare in SC BC; S to ID, WA and OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Astragalus lentiginosus

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) 400 704 808
Slope Gradient (%) 20 42 75
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
144 186 260
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 2 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: BG(4), PP(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.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Astragalus lentiginosus var. salinus (Howell) Barneby

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References