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

Stalked-pod Milk-vetch, The Dalles Milk-vetch, Woody-pod Milk-vetch

Astragalus sclerocarpus

Stalked-pod Milk-vetch, The Dalles Milk-vetch, Woody-pod Milk-vetch: Astragalus sclerocarpus

The photo above shows the inflorescence of The Dalles milk-vetch along the Columbia River near Wishram, WA.........April 19, 1998.

Characteristics:

The Dalles milk-vetch is a perennial milk-vetch with several stems to 50 cm tall. It is often found partly buried into the sand it resides in. The leaves are compound pinnate, with 15 to 21 narrow, linear to oblong-lanceolate leaflets, each 15 to 30 mm long and 2-4 mm wide.

The flowers reside in tight to loose racemes of 10 to 30 flowers. The flowers tend to pread and ascend somewhat. The flowers are from 10 to 14 mm long. the calyx is about half that length, 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, the wings white to pale purple, and the rounded keel purplish-tipped. The wings are about 1 mm longer than the keel.


Habitat:

The Dalles milk-vetch is found in dunes and sandy places.


Range:

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.

More specifically, it may be found between the elevations of 200'-300' from near Wishram, WA and eastward.


Flower of Stalked-pod Milk-vetch, The Dalles Milk-vetch, Woody-pod Milk-vetch: Astragalus sclerocarpus - Frontal view of the flower of Stalked-pod Milk-vetch, The Dalles Milk-vetch, Woody-pod Milk-vetch: Astragalus sclerocarpus - Pod of Stalked-pod Milk-vetch, The Dalles Milk-vetch, Woody-pod Milk-vetch: Astragalus sclerocarpus

Pod of Stalked-pod Milk-vetch, The Dalles Milk-vetch, Woody-pod Milk-vetch: Astragalus sclerocarpus - Stalked-pod Milk-vetch, The Dalles Milk-vetch, Woody-pod Milk-vetch: Astragalus sclerocarpus - Stalked-pod Milk-vetch, The Dalles Milk-vetch, Woody-pod Milk-vetch: Astragalus sclerocarpus

Close-up views of the Dalles milk-vetch as seen along Washington Highway 14 between US Highway 97 and Rock Creek..........May 11, 2009.

Stalked-pod Milk-vetch, The Dalles Milk-vetch, Woody-pod Milk-vetch: Astragalus sclerocarpus

The Dalles milk-vetch as seen along Washington Highway 14 between US Highway 97 and Rock Creek..........April 18, 2010.

Leaf of Stalked-pod Milk-vetch, The Dalles Milk-vetch, Woody-pod Milk-vetch: Astragalus sclerocarpus

Pinnately compound leaf of the Dalles milk-vetch as seen along Washington Highway 14 between US Highway 97 and Rock Creek.........May 11, 2009.

Paul Slichter