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Astragalus sinuatus (Whited’s milkvetch)

Whited's milkvetch is a critically endangered legume, restricted to Washington State, USA.
Flowers of Astragalus sinuatus

Flowers of Astragalus sinuatus (Photo: Julie K. Combs)

Species information

Scientific name: 

Astragalus sinuatus Piper

Common name: 

Whited’s milkvetch

Conservation status: 

Critically Endangered (CR) according to IUCN Red List criteria.

Habitat: 

South-facing slopes of rocky hillsides; in loess soils with small amounts of volcanic ash.

Key Uses: 

None known.

Known hazards: 

A small number of Astragalus species are toxic to livestock, but this is not likely to be the case for A. sinuatus, which is occasionally browsed by elk, deer and livestock.

Taxonomy

Subclass: 
Superorder: 
Rosanae
Order: 
Fabales
Family: 
Leguminosae/ Fabaceae - Papilionoideae
Genus: Astragalus

About this species

Whited’s milkvetch is a white-flowered, perennial herb belonging to the pea and bean family (Leguminosae). The common name refers to Kirk Whited (born in 1852 in Michigan), who collected specimens of this species in Washington State and whose name is honoured in the specific epithet of the synonym, Astragalus whitedii. The specific epithet sinuatus refers to the sinuously wavy suture (seam along which the fruit opens) along the upper surface of the pod.

Synonym: 

Astragalus whitedii, Phaca sinuata, Homalobus sinuatus, Homalobus whitedii

Genus: 
Astragalus

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