[Milk-vetches of the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch

Astragalus hoodianus

Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus

Inflorescence of Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus)

The photo above shows a close-up of the inflorescence of Hood River milk-vetch as seen at State Road 14 and The Dalles Mt Road, Columbia River Gorge..........April 24, 2006. Note how compact the inflorescence is, and how the flowers are oriented upwards rather than outwards.

Inflorescence of Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus) The photo at right shows a close-up of the inflorescence and flowers of Hood River milk-vetch as seen at State Road 14 and The Dalles Mt Road, Columbia River Gorge.......April 24, 2006.
Characteristics:

Hood River milk-vetch is an attractive perennial wildflower with many clustered, ascending to erect stems from 4-30 cm high. Plants are greenish to grayish-hairy with the herbage of consisting of short, dense gray hairs or looser appressed to spreading hairs. The 17-37 leaflets on the compound-pinnate leaves are narrowly linear and measure 5-10 mm long.

The flower stems are fairly stout and measure from 20-30 cm long, capped by a fairly congested (at least in flower ) raceme of 7-35 flowers which are held upwards or slightly ascending (See photo at right.). The whitish calyx tube is covered with white to gray, appressed to somewhat spreading hairs. The calyx measures 11-15 mm long with narrowly awl-shaped teeth about one-half to as long as the tube. The calyx tube is about 1.5 times as long as thick. The whitish corolla measures 15-18 mm long with the banner rising at an angle of about 45-50 degrees from the axis of the wings and keel. The narrow wings are much longer than the keel and shorter than the banner. The pods are erect, nearly sessile, fleshy while green and covered with gray black hairs. The pods measure from 15-20 mm long.


Similar Species:

Idaho Milk-vetch: Astragalus conjunctus - Calyx cylindrical, 6-15 mm long, about 2 times as long as thick. Calyx teeth 1.5-3 mm long. Corolla white or with purplish tip to keel and banner. Leaflets 13-31. Pod glabrous. Found from Wasco County (Tygh Valley Ridge), northcentral Oregon east to the Blue Mts. and south to the the Steens Mt. and east to southwestern Idaho.

Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus - Calyx bell-shaped, 11-15 mm long, about 1.5 times as long as thick. Calyx teeth 4.5-7.5 mm long. Leaflets 17-37. Pod pubescent. Found near the Columbia River Gorge in Wasco and Hood River Counties in Oregon and Klickitat County in Washington.

Yakima Milk-vetch: Astragalus reventiformis - Calyx bell-shaped, 8-12 mm long, about 1.5 times as long as thick. Calyx teeth 2.5-5 mm long. Banner held erect 90 degrees from wings and keel, generally notched at tip. Leaflets 17-37. Pod pubescent. Found from Kittitas County in Washington near Ellensburg south to Klickitat County, Washington and south into Sherman County of Oregon.

Blue Mt. Milk-vetch: Astragalus reventus - Leaflets 23-41. Pod glabrous. Found in the Blue Mts. of northeastern Oregon near the headwaters of the Umatilla and Grande Ronde Rivers into southeastern Washington.

Sheldon's Milk-vetch: Astragalus sheldonii - Leaflets 23-41. Pod usually pubescent. Found from southern Asotin County in southeastern Washington south into Wallowa County, northeastern Oregon and into Lewis and Nez Perce Counties in Idaho.


Habitat:

Sagebrush desert, scablands, grasslands, ponderosa forests, and stony flats from the foothills into the lower mountains.


Range:

Hood River milk-vetch is distributed in the east end of the Columbia River Gorge through Wasco, Hood River, and Klickitat counties. The other varieties are found from Ellensburg, WA south to north-central Oregon, eastward to the Steens Mt and southwest Idaho.

In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found between the elevations of 100'-2000' from near Hood River, OR eastward to near the Deschutes River and north to the lower slopes of the Columbia Hills and southward to about 15 miles south of The Dalles, OR.


Hairy pod of Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus)

Note the whitish hairs on the seed pods which help distinguish this species from the glabrous seed pods of Yakima milk-vetch (Astragalus reventiformis). Photographed above 2000' in the Columbia Hills to the north of the Dalles, OR..........May 14, 2006.

Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus) - Inflorescence of Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus)

Hairy pod of Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus) - Hairy pod of Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus) - Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus)

Close-up views of Hood River milkvetch as seen at the junction of Washington Highway 14 and The Dalles Mt. Road..........May 10, 2009.

Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus) - Close-up of the inflorescence of Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus)

Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus) - Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus)

Hood River milkvetch blooming amongst balsamroots, upland larkspurs and barestem desert parsley at the Four Sisters several miles northwest of The Dalles, Oregon...........April 21, 2013.

Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus) - Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus)

Additional views of Hood River Milkvetch as seen on slopes above the Klickitat Trail at Klickitat Springs, Klickitat State Wildlife Recreation Area, western Klickitat County, WA.........May 8, 2011.

Habitat of Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus) - Inflorescence of Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus)

Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus) - Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus)

Hood River Milkvetch as seen on the south-facing slopes of Sevenmile Hill where it is fairly abundant, at least on public lands........April 20, 2014.

Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus)

An additional view of the habitat of Hood River milkvetch as seen at the east rim of the Klickitat River near the end of the South Breaks Road, Klickitat Wildlife Area..........May 1, 2014.

Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus) - Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus)

Inflorescence of Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus) - Flowers of Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus)

Flowers of Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus) - Seed pods of Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus)

What appears to be Hood River milkvetch as seen on slopes above the Klickitat River at the Margerum Ranch, a Columbia Land Trust property, Klickitat County, WA..........April 24, 2015. This species begins to look like Yakima milkvetch in western Klickitat County, WA.

Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus) - Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus) - Inflorescence of Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus)

Hood River milkvetch blooming with bulblet prairie stars (Lithophragma bulbifera) on the southeastern slopes of Sevenmile Hill several miles northwest of The Dalles, Oregon..........March 30, 2015.

Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus) - Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus) - Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus) - Inflorescence of Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus)

Hood River milkvetch blooming along the east rim of Canyon Creek, Klickitat Wildlife Area..........May 17, 2017.

Hood River Milkvetch, Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus (Synonyms: Astragalis conjunctus var. oxytropoides, Astragalus reventus var. oxytropidoides, Cnemidophacos knowlesianus)
Hood River milk-vetch at State Road 14 and The Dalles Mt Road, Columbia River Gorge.......April 27, 1997.

Paul Slichter