Astragalus brauntonii - Parish
Braunton's Milkvetch
Other Common Names: Braunton's milkvetch
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Astragalus brauntonii Parish (TSN 25443)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.156760
Element Code: PDFAB0F1G0
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 brauntonii
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 27Jul2016
Global Status Last Changed: 08Mar1988
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Endemic to the mountains surrounding the Los Angeles basin, California, where it is currently known from 4 general areas. Currently, fewer than 100 individual plants are known, but the species' seed bank could generate larger populations if appropriate fire events occurred. The species may be restricted to limestone, which is a rare substrate within the limits of its known distribution. A. brauntonii is threatened by urban development and habitat fragmentation, and by the resultant alteration of natural fire cycles. The fact that the plants are only visible for 2-3 years following a fire or other disturbance (which may occur only once in 20-50+ years) may make the populations especially vulnerable to destruction.
Nation: United States
National Status: N2

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States California (S2)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LE: Listed endangered (29Jan1997)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R8 - California-Nevada

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Foothills bordering the Los Angeles plain, from the Santa Monica, Santa Ana and San Gabriel Mtns. Los Angeles, River- side, Ventura and Orange counties, California.

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: 10 sites presumed extant; 5 probably extirpated; one erron- eous.

Population Size Comments: This is hard; the plants come up following disturbance and then quickly (w/in a few yrs.) senesce and die.

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: This species requires a fire regime and while the frequency of the required regime is unknown, estimates are between 20 and 100 years. Depending on the natural fire regime, plant populations are only visible every 20 to 50 years. More frequent fires have altered the habitat, and these fires are caused by arson (USFWS 1997, CNPS 2001, CNDDB 2003). This species is also threatened by urban development, fragmentation of habitat and reduced capability for sustained ecologic processes, fragmented ownership of single populations resulting in different landscape treatments, and extinction from natural occurring events due to small populations sizes and low individual numbers (USFWS 1997).

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: This plant is only visible for a short time following disturbance such as a fire. Subject to out-of-sight...syndrome

Environmental Specificity Comments: This species is a limestone endemic and in the known range of this species, limestone outcrops are rare. A small number of populations have been observed on non-limestone soils (USFWS 1997).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Foothills bordering the Los Angeles plain, from the Santa Monica, Santa Ana and San Gabriel Mtns. Los Angeles, River- side, Ventura and Orange counties, California.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CA

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CA Los Angeles (06037), Orange (06059), Ventura (06111)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
18 Calleguas (18070103)+, Santa Monica Bay (18070104)+, Los Angeles (18070105)+, Santa Ana (18070203)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A short-lived perennial herb that reaches a height of 1.5 m and is covered with wooly hairs. Leaves are compound, each with up to 33 leaflets. Flowers are pale purple.
General Description: "Young plants are herbaceous down to the ground, but after a year or two develop a ligneous trunk several centimeters in diameter. The species is easily recognized by its tall, fistular stems whitened by a coat of spreading or entangled hairs, by the ample leaves composed of 12-16 pairs of dorsally keeled leaflets, and especially by the narrow, dense racemes of small, nodding, purplish flowers which arise from several distal axils and form a sort of panicle of spikes. As the flowers fade the petals turn brown and papery, investing with the somewhat accrescent calyx the base of the forming pod; they are not promptly shed as in most of the genus" (Barneby, 1964).
Technical Description: Perennial, coarse; hairs whitish, dense, entangled, some longer, spreading. Stem +/- erect, 7-15 dm, stout, hollow. Leaf 3-16 cm; leaflets 25-33, 3-20 mm, +/- obovate, tips acute to obtuse. Inflorescence spike-like; flowers 35-60, overlapping, reflexed. Flower: petals dull lilac, persisting withered, banner 9.1-11.7 mm, recurved +/- 40 degrees, keel 6.4-8.5 mm. Fruit reflexed, +/- 1/2 included in calyx, 6.5-9 mm, 3-4 mm wide, oblong in side view, bluntly 3-angled, not bladdery, hairs dense, wavy; chambers 2 in lower 1/2 (Hickman, 1993).
Diagnostic Characteristics: Stem erect to widely ascending, 60-150 cm. Flowers refexed; corolla dull lilac; fruit reflexed, deciduous, <10 mm, densely wavy-hairy.
Duration: PERENNIAL
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Shrubland/chaparral
Habitat Comments: Brush/chaparral communities. The seeds germinate after fire or other disturbance and the plants live only 2-3 years before senescing or being crowded out by developing vegetation. The natural frequency of fire in the species' habitat is unknown. The plants may be restricted to limestone substrates.
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: 24Jul2003
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Bittman, R.L., rev. Maybury (1997), L. Oliver (2003)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 21Dec1993
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): ANNABLE, C., REV. MAYBURY (1997)

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
Help
  • Barneby, R.C. 1964. Atlas of North American Astragalus. 2 Vols. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 1188 pp.

  • California Department of Fish and Game. 2000. Natural Diversity Database (RareFind 2), Version 2.1.2, January 25, 2000. Downloaded in 2003.

  • California Native Plant Society (CNPS). 2001. Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants of California (sixth edition). Rare Plant Scientific Advisory Committee, David P. Tibor, Convening Editor. California Native Plant Society. Sacramento, CA. x + 388pp.

  • Hickman, J. C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA. 1400 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.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 1997. Determination of endangered status for two plants and threatened status for four plants from Southern California. Federal Register 62(19):4172-4183. 29 January 1997.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1997. Determination of endangered status for two plants and threatened status for four plants from southern California. Federal Register 62(19): 4172-4183.

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