CPC Plant Profile: Sleeping Ute Milkvetch
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Plant Profile

Sleeping Ute Milkvetch (Astragalus tortipes)

Description
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Fabaceae
  • State: CO
  • Nature Serve ID: 149331
  • Date Inducted in National Collection:

Astragalus tortipes J.L. Anderson and J.M. Porter, the Sleeping Ute Milkvetch, is a very rare endemic plant known from 2 populations in southwestern Colorado. It is a relatively new species, described in 1994 by J.L. Anderson and J.M. Porter. It is distinguishable from other Astragalus species by the hyper-twisting of pedicels, which causes the pods to be erect. A. tortipes flowers from April to early May.

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Updates
Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Astragalus tortipes is currently known only from an area of about 10 square kilometers in extreme southwestern Colorado. According to Anderson and Porter (1994), the nearest similar edaphic and elevational habitat occurs 160 km away from the known occurrences, and recent botanical investigations there failed to note any populations of Astragalus tortipes. Many plants were lost during construction of canals for McPhee Reservoir and there may be some continued impacts from increased vehicle accessibility. Agricultural development is another potential threat.

Laura Smith
  • 01/01/2010

Off-road vehicle impacts and agricultural development may threaten Astragalus tortipes. Cattle grazing and prairie dogs do not appear to threaten this species.

Laura Smith
  • 01/01/2010

Approximately 3,000 to 4,000 plants were documented in 2000 (Colyer 2000).

Laura Smith
  • 01/01/2010

Not Available

Laura Smith
  • 01/01/2010

Not Available

Laura Smith
  • 01/01/2010

Inventory work is needed to survey for more populations. Protection is needed for known populations and habitat.

Laura Smith
  • 01/01/2010

Not Available

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Photos
Nomenclature
Taxon Astragalus tortipes
Authority J.L. Anderson & J.M. Porter
Family Fabaceae
CPC Number 44460
ITIS 507823
USDA ASTO9
Common Names Sleeping Ute Milkvetch
Associated Scientific Names Astragalus tortipes
Distribution Astragalus tortipes is known from two occurrences which are both found in an area of 25 square kilometers in Motezuma County, Colorado, within the Ute Mountain Reservation.
State Rank
State State Rank
Colorado S1
Habitat

Astragalus tortipes is found in mixed desert scrub at 1700-1740 meters. It is generally in scattered populations on the lower slopes of ridges and knolls. The parent material is Cretaceous Mancos Shale.

Ecological Relationships

Grows with Atriplex confertifolia, Chrysothamnus greeni, Eriogonum clavellatum, Frankenia jamesii and Gutierrezia sarothrae.

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Reintroduction
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting

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