Coachella Valley Milk-Vetch
(Astragalus lentiginosus var. coachellae )
Photo Copyright Susan Cochrane and CNPS
Description: Annual or perennial, densely silvery-hairy, herb, with a non-woody plant base. Stems growing upward, clumped, and are 4-12 inches (1-3dm) tall. Leaves are 2 - 4 1/2 inches (5-11.5cm) long, with 7-21 pear-shaped leaflets, 1/4 - 5/8 inches (5-17mm) long. Inflorescence is a raceme (unbranched inflorescence that opens from top to bottom) with 11-25 flowers. Petals are pink-purple with a banner 1/2 - 5/8 inches (13-14.5mm) long. Fruit is a very swollen pod 5/8 - 7/8 inches (16-21mm) long, 3/8 - 1/2 inch (9-14mm) wide, egg-shaped to almost round, grayish with stiff, straight, sharp hairs, and with a beak 1/8 - 1/4 inch (3.5-6mm) long.
Habitat: Sandy places, creosote bush scrub. Elevation 192 - 2096 feet.
Flowering Period: Blooms February - May.
Status: Federal Endangered, California Native Plant Society List 1B