Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Perennial, Herbs, Stems woody below, or from woody crown or caudex, Plants with rhizomes or suckers, Taproot present, Nodules present, Stems erect or ascending, Stems less than 1 m tall, Stems solid, Stems or young twigs sparsely to densely hairy, Stems hairs pilose or spreading, Leaves alternate, Leaves petiolate, Stipules conspicuous, Stipules membranous or chartaceous, Stipules persistent, Stipules free, Stipules connate to each other, forming a tuber or sheath, Leaves compound, Leaves odd pinnate, Leaf or leaflet margins entire, Leaflets opposite, Leaflets 10-many, Leaves hairy on one or both surfaces, Inflorescences racemes, Inflorescence axillary, Bracts very small, absent or caducous, Flowers zygomorphic, Calyx 5-lobed, Calyx hairy, Petals separate, Corolla papilionaceous, Petals clawed, Petals white, Petals ochroleucous, cream colored, Banner petal narrow or oblanceol ate, Wing petals narrow, oblanceolate to oblong, Wing tips obtuse or rounded, Keel petals auriculate, spurred, or gibbous, Keel tips obtuse or rounded, not beaked, Stamens 9-10, Stamens diadelphous, 9 united, 1 free, Filaments glabrous, Style terete, Style persistent in fruit, Fruit a legume, Fruit stipitate, Fruit tardily or weakly dehiscent, Fruit elongate, straight, Fruit oblong or ellipsoidal, Fruit strongly curved, falcate, bent, or lunate, Fruit or valves persistent on stem, Fruit exserted from calyx, Fruit beaked, Fruit glabrous or glabrate, Fruit 11-many seeded, Seeds cordiform, mit-shaped, notched at one end, Seed surface smooth, Seeds olive, brown, or black.
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Dr. David Bogler

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Astragalus drummondii

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Wikipedia

Astragalus drummondii

Astragalus drummondii is a species of flowering plant in the legume family known by the common name Drummond's milkvetch. The botanist Thomas Drummond first identified the plant during his travels in North America from 1825 to 1835, the year of his death. Accordingly A. drummondii, amongst many other plants, was named after the late botanist. Upon the return of samples collected by Drummond to England, his findings were published in Sir William Hooker’s Flora Boreali-Americana in 1840.[1]

Distribution[edit]

Astragalus drummondii is found widely across the American west and Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. Its distribution has not changed a great deal since the species was first identified.

A. drummondi distribution

Habitat and ecology[edit]

A. drummondii is a hardy plant that can live in a range of different climates. It flourishes in dry, light soil as well as moderately wet soils. While it grows the most plentifully on grasslands, it can also survive in oak and pine forests. It tends to collect on hillsides when present.

Morphology[edit]

Individuals of this species are herbaceous perennial plants, characterized by thick, hairy stems as well as hairy foliage. The plant tends to have several large stems diverging near to the ground. The plant is often 40 to 70cm tall. It is characterized by oblong leaves 6 to 14cm in length which are very hairy on their downward side. The plants often have flowers.[2]

Flowers and fruit[edit]

Flowers of Astragalus drummondii are 18 to 25mm long white oblong structures. The flowers are usually at the very top of the plant, above most of the leaves. The flower's keel can sometimes be purplish in color. The sepals are very small hairy structures about 8mm long. The plant flowers in June and July. The plant is characterized by producing drooping hairless pods roughly 4cm long. The pod's seam is thick enough that it almost forms a partition between the seeds.[3]

Herbivory[edit]

Many species in the genus Astragalus are poisonous. Cattle in the areas where Astragalus are present have been known to consume the plant and then act crazed shortly before dying. This had led the genus to be known as "locoweeds". There are three major groupings within the poisonous group, those that sequester selenium, those that make nitrotoxins, and those that make swainsonine (a poisonous alkaloid). Four groups of A. drummondii in New Mexico were tested and found to be negative for the production of swainsonine, implying that this species is safe for cattle to graze upon.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hooker, William Jackson. Flora Boreali-Americana; Or, the Botany of the Northern Parts of British America. London: H.G. Bohn, 1840. Print.
  2. ^ "Drummond's Milk-vetch - Astragalus Drummondii." Drummond's Milk-vetch - Astragalus Drummondii. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://montana.plant-life.org/species/astrag_drum.htm>.
  3. ^ "Drummond's Milk-vetch - Astragalus Drummondii." Drummond's Milk-vetch - Astragalus Drummondii. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://montana.plant-life.org/species/astrag_drum.htm>.
  4. ^ Newkirk, Levi. "Can locoweed be good feed?." Rangelands Archives 25.4 (2003): 33-34.

Sources[edit]

  • Budd, A. C., Jan Looman, and Keith F. Best, 1979: Budd's Flora of the Canadian Prairie Provinces. Ottawa: Research Branch, Agriculture Canada. Print
  • Levere, Trevor Harvey, 1993: Science and the Canadian Arctic: A Century of Exploration, 1818-1918. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. Print.
  • Standley, Paul Carpenter, 1921: Flora of Glacier National Park, Montana. Washington: Govt. Print. Off. Print.
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