Cooper’s milkvetch

(Astragalus neglectus)

Conservation Status
Cooper’s milkvetch
 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N4 - Apparently Secure

S4 - Apparently Secure

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

UPL - Obligate upland

     
  Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Cooper’s milkvetch is a 12 to 36 tall, erect, perennial forb rising on a cluster of stems from a taproot.

The stems are more or less erect, branching, leafy, usually hollow, and hairless or nearly hairless.

The leaves are alternate and pinnately divided into 11 to 23 leaflets. Each leaf has a terminal leaflet and an odd total number of leaflets. There is an egg-shaped, pointed, to long stipule at the base of each leaf stalk.

The leaflets are oblong to inversely egg-shaped and to 13 16 long. The lower surface of the leaf blade is covered with straight, stiff, sharp, appressed hairs.

The inflorescence is several short, unbranched clusters (racemes) of 10 to 20 stalked flowers rising on a stalk from the leaf axils. The stalk and raceme together barely surpass in length the subtending leaf.

The flowers are 7 16 to long. There are 5 sepals fused for most of their length into a to 3 16 long, cylinder-shaped tube (calyx), then separated into 5 lobes about half as long as the tube. The 5 petals are white to cream colored and form a butterfly-like corolla, as is typical of plants in the Pea family. They are organized into a broad banner petal at the top, two lateral wing petals, and between the wings two petals fused into a keel. The banner is notched at the tip.

The fruit is an inflated, spindle-shaped or egg-shaped, to ¾ long, 5 16 to 11 16 wide seed pod. The pod is stalkless and straight. It is held erect or spreading, not drooping.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

12 to 36

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

White to cream

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Lake shores, stream banks, river banks. Full to partial sun.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

June to July

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

 
  12/26/2011      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Rosanae  
 

Order

Fabales (legumes, milkworts, and allies)  
 

Family

Fabaceae (legumes)  
  Subfamily Faboideae (Papilionoideae)  
  Tribe Galegeae (milkvetches, locoweeds, and allies)  
  Subtribe Astragalinae  
  Genus Astragalus (milkvetch)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
       
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Astragalus cooperi

Phaca neglecta

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

Cooper’s milk-vetch

Cooper’s milkvetch

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Axil

The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.

 

Calyx

The group of outer floral leaves (sepals) below the petals, occasionally forming a tube.

 

Caudex

A short, thickened, woody, persistent enlargement of the stem, at or below ground level, used for water storage.

 

Pinnate

Having the leaflets of a compound leaf arranged on opposite sides of a common stalk.

 

Raceme

An unbranched, elongated inflorescence with stalked flowers. The flowers mature from the bottom up.

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

 

Stipule

A small, leaf-like, scale-like, glandular, or rarely spiny appendage found at the base of a leaf stalk, usually occurring in pairs and usually dropping soon.

       
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Plant

  Cooper’s milkvetch    
       

Inflorescence

  Cooper’s milkvetch    
       

Leaves

  Cooper’s milkvetch    
       
       

 

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