CPC Plant Profile: Ash Meadows Milkvetch
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Plant Profile

Ash Meadows Milkvetch (Astragalus phoenix)

Astragalus phoenix in flower Photo Credit: Wikimedia
Description
  • Global Rank: G2 - Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Threatened
  • Family: Fabaceae
  • State: NV
  • Nature Serve ID: 154059
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 12/01/2021

A. phoenix is a long lived, perennial forb that develops into low spreading mounds that can reach 15 cm high and 50 cm in diameter. Flowers are pink-purple and leaves are covered in dense, white hairs. This species grows in the highly saline soils of desert wetlands in eastern Nevada. Population growth is constrained by low seed output per plant A. phoenix is visited by a bee (Anthophora porterae) that is likely a vital pollinator. Wind and water are probably the primary vectors for dispersal, but it has been observed that most of the seed produced does not disperse long-distances and remains within the leaves and branches of the parent plant.

Participating Institutions
Updates
  • 08/27/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

No ex-situ seed conservation has been conducted for this species. This is a high priority for USFWS.

  • 08/27/2020
  • Seed Collection

No ex-situ seed conservation has been conducted for this species. This is a high priority for USFWS.

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Highly restricted to a unique desert wetland habitat where the plants only grow in mineral-encrusted soil; never in disturbed areas. About 13 sites are known, all restricted to Ash Meadows, Clark County, Nevada.

Rita Dodge
  • 01/01/2010

Restriced range Groundwater pumping Agriculture Trampling by wild horses and livestock Off-road vehicle disturbance Invasive species Herbivory from rabbits

Rita Dodge
  • 01/01/2010

Low numbers of plants are scattered over the eastern portion of Ash Meadows in Nye Co., NV. Approximately 15,606 individuals within a 73 acre area. 12 element occurances are recorded.

Rita Dodge
  • 01/01/2010

Not Available

Rita Dodge
  • 01/01/2010

Semi-protected within the National Wildlife Refuge.

Rita Dodge
  • 01/01/2010

No ex-situ seed conservation has been conducted for this species.

Rita Dodge
  • 01/01/2010

No ex-situ seed conservation has been conducted for this species. This is a high priority for USFWS.

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Photos
Nomenclature
Taxon Astragalus phoenix
Authority Barneby
Family Fabaceae
CPC Number 468
ITIS 25631
USDA ASPH
Common Names Ash Meadows Milk-vetch | Ash Meadows milkvetch
Associated Scientific Names Astragalus phoenix
Distribution Eastern portion of Ash Meadows in Nye Co. Nevada.
State Rank
State State Rank
Nevada S2
Habitat

Dry saline slopes in clay soils found in desert wetlands in Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.

Ecological Relationships

Critical species within the saline soils.

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Bees
Anthophorine bees Anthophora porterae Suspected Pollinator Floral Link

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