The photo above shows the inflorescence of The Dalles milk-vetch along the Columbia River near Wishram, WA......April 19, 1998.
Also known as stalked-pod milk-vetch, The Dalles milk-vetch is a perennial milk-vetch with several sinuous, often branched stems to 50 cm tall. It is often found partly buried into the sand it resides in. The foliage is covered by fine gray or whitish hairs appressed to the stems and leaves, or the upper leaflet surface may be somewhat glabrous. The leaves are pinnately compound, with 10 to 21 narrow, linear to oblong-lanceolate leaflets, each 15 to 30 mm long and 2-4 mm wide.
The flower stems are slender and about equal to or slightly longer than the upper leaves. The flowers reside in tight to loose racemes of 10 to 30 flowers. The flowers tend to spread and ascend somewhat. The flowers measure from 9 to 14 mm long with the bell-shaped to shortly tubular calyx about 5 mm long, with teeth about 1/4th as long as the flower, and somewhat grayish and blackish tinged. The flowers have a banner that is white to greenish-white (sometimes purple-tipped), the wings white to pale purple, and the rounded keel purplish-tipped. The wings are about 1 mm longer than the keel. The pendulous, compressed pods are 2.5-3.5 mm long and nearly straight when young, tapering to a point at both ends, then curving to nearly half a circle when mature. The pods vary from nearly glabrous to covered with grayish, appressed hairs.
The Dalles milk-vetch is found in dunes and sandy places.
The Dalles milk-vetch is generally found on both sides of the Columbia River from The Dalles, Oregon upstream to the Tri Cities, then inland through central Washington to Kettle Falls and up the Okanogan River into southern British Columbia. It can also be found at several locations in the foothills at the northern edge and western tip of the Blue Mountains of Oregon.
- -Close-up views of the Dalles milk-vetch as seen along Washington Highway 14 between US Highway 97 and Rock Creek........May 11, 2009.
Pinnately compound leaf of the Dalles milk-vetch as seen along Washington Highway 14 between US Highway 97 and Rock Creek.........May 11, 2009.