Astragalus scaphoides - (M.E. Jones) Rydb.
Bitterroot Milkvetch
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Astragalus scaphoides (M.E. Jones) Rydb. (TSN 25667)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.148839
Element Code: PDFAB0F7V0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Pea Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Fabales Fabaceae Astragalus
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Astragalus scaphoides
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 28Dec1999
Global Status Last Changed: 02Apr1990
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Limited geographic distribution and vulnerable under some grazing management practices.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Idaho (S3), Montana (S3)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Beaverhead Co., Montana, and Lemhi Co., Idaho.

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: 30 EOs in ID (Lesica and Elliott, 1987); 16 recent and 1 historical EOs in MT (1999).

Population Size Comments: Several populations in Idaho have more than 5000 plants.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Species declines under rotation grazing without rest cycle, or under heavy grazing.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: Likely declining under incompatible grazing management in parts of range.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Occurs in common steppe community types but within relatively limited elevation range perhaps controlled by climate.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Beaverhead Co., Montana, and Lemhi Co., Idaho.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ID, MT

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
MT Beaverhead (30001)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
10 Red Rock (10020001)+, Beaverhead (10020002)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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General Description: Bitterroot milkvetch is a stout, herbaceous perennial with several erect stems 2-6 dm in height arising from a branched rootcrown. The pinnately compound leaves (10-25 cm long) have 15-21 narrowly elliptic leaflets, and the foliage is glabrous to sparsely hairy. Crowded clusters of 15-30 spreading yellowing flowers are borne in the axils of upper leaves, becoming less dense as the plant matures. Corollas are about 20 mm long and have a reflexed upper petal and a blackish-hairy calyx (8-10 mm long). Glabrous, green to reddish, oblong pods (15-20 mm long by 4-6 mm wide) are 2-chambered in cross-section, and are borne on a stalk of approximately equal length that spreads out and then arches up, holding the fruit nearly erect.
Diagnostic Characteristics: The long fruit stalks that arch out and up, holding the pods like a candelabra, and pods that are 4-6 mm wide distinguish this from the similar species, A. ATROPUBESCENS and A. TERMINALIS.
Habitat Comments: Sagebrush-grassland communities on dry slopes at mid- elevations (5000-6000 feet).
Economic Attributes
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Economically Important Genus: Y
Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 12Sep1987
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Shelly, J. S., rev. B. Heidel (1999).
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 03Oct1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): JM

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Horn, G. 1980. Report on inventory of threatened or endangered, rare, or sensitive plants-Headwaters Resource Area, Butte District, Bureau of Land Management, Montana. Unpublished report. 54 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Lesica P. 1995a. Demography of Astragalus scaphoides and the effects of herbivory on population growth. Great Basin Naturalist 55(2): 142-150.

  • Lesica, P. 1984a. Report on the conservation status of Astragalus scaphoides, a candidate for threatened species. Unpublished report to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Denver, CO. 20 pp. plus appendices.

  • Lesica, P. 1984b. The distribution and reproduction effort of the rare plant ASTRAGALUS SCAPHOIDES in Montana and Idaho. Unpublished report prepared for The Nature Conservancy, Big Sky Field Office, Helena, Montana. 14 pp.

  • Lesica, P. 1993a. Demographic monitoring of Astragalus scaphoides at two sites in Montana and Idaho: 1992 progress report. Prepared for Bureau of Land Management. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT. 16 pp.

  • Lesica, P. 1994a. Demographic monitoring of Astragalus scaphoides at two sites in Montana and Idaho: final report. Unpublished report for the Bureau of Land Management, Butte District. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT.

  • Lesica, P. and J. C. Elliott. 1989. 1988 monitoring study of Bitterroot milkvetch populations in Lemhi County, Idaho. Unpublished report to the U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Boise, Idaho, 37 pp.

  • Moseley, R. K. 1989e. Field investigations of four ASTRAGALI all Region 4 sensitive species on the Salmon National Forest, with noted on two others. Unpublished report. Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Boise, Idaho. 44 pp.

  • Vanderhorst, J. 1995a. Sensitive plant survey in the Horse Prairie Creek drainage, Beaverhead County, Montana. Unpublished report to the Bureau of Land Management, Butte District. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, Montana. 42 pp. plus appendices.

  • Vanderhorst, J. 1995b. Sensitive plant survey of the Tendoy Mountains in the Beaverhead National Forest, Beaverhead County, Montana. Unpublished report to the Beaverhead National Forest. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT. 69 pp.

  • Vanderhorst, J. P. and P. Lesica. 1994. Sensitive plant survey in the Tendoy Mountains, Beaverhead County, Montana. Unpublished report to the Bureau of Land Management, Butte District. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT. 59 pp. plus appendices.

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