CPC Plant Profile: Goose Creek Milkvetch
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Plant Profile

Goose Creek Milkvetch (Astragalus anserinus)

Photo Credit: Jody Fraser, USFWS
  • Global Rank: G2 - Imperiled
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Fabaceae
  • State: ID, NV, UT
  • Nature Serve ID: 146621
  • Date Inducted in National Collection:

A. anserinus is a matt forming forb known to grow only on soils formed from ancient volcanic tuff. As one of the few species to populate these barren tuffaceaous outcrops, it assists with soil stabilization. In spring this plant will display bright pink - purple flowers on the backdrop of the soft, gray pubescent leaves. Red curved seed pods form in early June-July. This species certainly does not consider political boundaries when choosing its habitat, as it occurs in the tri-state corners of Nevada, Utah, and Idaho. This species is a candidate for listing on the Federal Endangered species list. It has a Global ranking of G2; S1(Idaho and Utah).

Participating Institutions
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  • 08/26/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

This species has not yet been conserved in ex-situ preservation.

  • 08/26/2020
  • Seed Collection

This species has not yet been conserved in ex-situ preservation.

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Astragalus anserinus is restricted to fairly specific small habitat patches (averaging about 3 ha) that are uncommon along a small portion of the Goose Creek drainage, near the corners of northeastern Nevada/northwestern Utah and adjacent southern Idaho. About 15 occurrences with good viability exist within this range, and most are increasingly invaded by cheatgrass, leafy spurge, and other exotic plant species.

Rita Dodge and Sarah Kulpa
  • 01/01/2010

Altered wildfire regime Wildfire response and restoration activities Diminished recruitment activity due to: Increased wildfires Invasive species Livestock trampling Habitat degradation Development

Rita Dodge and Sarah Kulpa
  • 01/01/2010

Idaho 11,000 individuals Nevada 5,052 individuals Utah 7,617 individuals

Rita Dodge and Sarah Kulpa
  • 01/01/2010

Not Available

Rita Dodge and Sarah Kulpa
  • 01/01/2010

Occurs on federally owned US Forest Service and BLM and private property.

Rita Dodge and Sarah Kulpa
  • 01/01/2010

Specific pollinators are unknown. Management of an ex-situ seed collection is a high priority for the management of this species.

Rita Dodge and Sarah Kulpa
  • 01/01/2010

This species has not yet been conserved in ex-situ preservation.


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Taxon Astragalus anserinus
Authority Atwood, Goodrich & Welsh
Family Fabaceae
CPC Number 367
ITIS 192809
Common Names Goose Creek Milk-vetch
Associated Scientific Names Astragalus anserinus
Distribution A 20 mile long and 4 mile wide stretch of the Goose Creek drainage in Southwest Idaho, northeast Nevada, and Northwest Utah.
State Rank
State State Rank
Idaho S1
Nevada S1
Utah S1

White tuffaceous outcrops in sagebrush, rabbitbrush, and juniper communities at 5,000-5,220 feet.

Ecological Relationships

Acts as a soil stabilizer on barren tuffaceous outcrops.

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Bumble bees Bombus Confirmed Pollinator Link
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting

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