Freckled Milkvetch

Common Names:
Freckled Milkvetch, Spotted Locoweed, Rattle Pod
Scientific name:
Astragalus lentiginosus
Subspecies | Variants:
Astragalus lentiginosus var. albifolius, Astragalus lentiginosus var. borreganus, Astragalus lentiginosus var. coachellae, Astragalus lentiginosus var. floribundus, Astragalus lentiginosus var. fremontii, Astragalus lentiginosus var. lentiginosus, Astragalus lentiginosus var. micans, Astragalus lentiginosus var. piscinensis, Astragalus lentiginosus var. salinus, Astragalus lentiginosus var. semotus, Astragalus lentiginosus var. sesquimetralis, Astragalus lentiginosus var. sierrae, Astragalus lentiginosus var. variabilis
Elevation range:
165 - 12,000 ft
Flowering Months:
April, May, June, July
Height | Length:
4-16 in.
Life Cycle | Lifeform:
Annual, Perennial
Notes:
TOXIC, Attracts butterflies
Ancestral Usage:
food, medicinal
State Occurrences:
Desert region:
Chihuahuan, Great Basin, Mojave, Sonoran

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Freckled Milkvetch in the desert

Astragalus lentiginosus is a perennial (occ. annual) herb with magenta pink to purple flowers. Joshua Tree National Park | February 2014

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Freckled Milkvetch in the desert

Astragalus lentiginosus has oval leaflets that are blue-green and opposite along the stem. This species is in the Fabaceae (Pea) family.  Joshua Tree National Park | February 2014

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Freckled Milkvetch in the desert

Fruit of Astragalus lentiginosus is a speckled pod or blader that narrows to a point on one end. There are many varieties of this species that may be hard to distinguish from one another which are differentiated by the fruit.  Joshua Tree National Park | April 2014

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Freckled Milkvetch in the desert

Astragalus lentiginosus is often found on roadsides. The deep pink colored flowers age to blue or white. Pipes Canyon, CA | March 2015

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Freckled Milkvetch in the desert

Astragalus lentiginosus speckled fruit in clusters. Joshua Tree National Park |April 2016