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Tiehm's Milk-Vetch
(Astragalus tiehmii )

Tiehm's milk-vetch
BLM Photograph

Description: Much branched mat-forming perennial herb, gray hairy, 4 -16 inches (1-4 dm) wide. Leaves dense, 1/4 - 1 inch (8-26 mm), with 7-9 leaflets, 1/16 - 1/4 inch (2-6 mm) long. Flowers white tinged with lilac, about 3/16 inch (5 mm). Pod small, 3/16 inch (5 mm) long, hairy, usually 2 seeded.


Distribution: Washoe County, Nevada and western Humboldt County, California. Occurs from Grass Valley Ranch area north to Butcher Flat. Entire distribution of this plant is on public lands administered by the Surprise Field Office. Found near Denio Camp, Gilman Springs, Hanging Rock Canyon, and Butcher Flat area.

Habitat: On dry white ashy barren outcrops within sagebrush type. Outcrops are usually sparsely vegetated and occur on slopes and tops of low hills. Often occurs with Schoolcraft's cryptantha (Cryptantha schoolcraftii) and/or Crosby's buckwheat (Eriogonum crosbyae) at 5,400 to 5,600 feet (1646 to 1706 meters).

Flowering Period:  June - July

Similar Plants:  Rather distinct. Very similar to Ash Valley Milkvetch (Astragalus anxius) but it only occurs in Lassen County, California.

Status: BLM Sensitive, California Native Plant Society NV Watch


Identifying Features:




  • Flat, densely leaved mat.
  • Small, white, tinged with lilac flowers.
  • Small, 2 seeded, hairy pods.
  • Glossary of
    Plant Terms

    Diagram of Plant Parts

    Definitions of
    Plant Status


    Field Office: Surprise

    Last updated: 08-05-2010