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Suksdorf's Milk-Vetch
(Astragalus pulsiferae var. suksdorfii)

Sukdorf's Milkvetch
Photo Copyright James Morefield NNHP

Description: Mat-forming perennial herb, with stems branching at or near the ground surface. Stems lying mostly flat on ground (prostrate), 3/8 to 1-3/16 inches (1- 3 cm) long. Leaves compound; leaflets 7-13, small, moderately hairy. Flowers pea-shaped, small, white or with faint lavender veining, 4-13 per inflorescence. Pod one-chambered, 3/8 - 3/4 inches (1-2 cm) long, inflated, hairy.


Distribution : Lassen, Plumas and Modoc counties. On public lands administered by the Alturas Field Office in the Infernal Caverns areas, southwest of Alturas. Also near the town of Chester.

Habitat: Loose, often rocky soil, with sagebrush and often in pines west of the Great Basin at 4,800 to 6,400 feet (1463 to 1951 meters).

Flowering Period: May - August.

Similar Plants: Ames milkvetch (Astragalus pulsiferae var. pulsiferae) but it branches below surface. Similar to A. anxius prior to fruiting. Flower color more purple in   A. anxius . Upper petal less than 3/16 inch (5.2 mm) for A. anxius and more than 3/16 inches (5.2 mm) for v. suksdorfii . Mature fruit of v. suksdorfii inflated and much larger than compressed smaller fruit of A. anxius .

Status: BLM Sensitive, California Native Plant Society List 1B.2


Identifying Features:

  1. Stems branching at or near surface.
  2. Small, inflated, one-chambered, hairy pods.
  3. Small, white to lavender veined flowers.


Glossary of
Plant Terms

Diagram of Plant Parts

Definitions of
Plant Status

Field Office: Eagle Lake

Last updated: 04-27-2016