Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:

Astragalus beatleyae

Astragalus beatleyae Barneby

Beatley's Milkvetch

Fabaceae (Pea family)


USDA Symbol: ASBE5

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

"Small short-lived perennial herb." (webref: 52). "Dwarf or diminutive, loosely caespitose perennial herbs of rapid growth and short duration, sometimes flowering the first season, strigulose throughout or nearly so with straight, appressed, rather coarse, dorsally flattened hairs 0.2-0.4 mm long, the stems thinly so, greenish, the foliage more densely so, cinereous but not silky, the leaflets pubescent both sides but often more closely so beneath, sometimes medially glabrescent above; stems several, prostrate and incurved-ascending from the superficial crown of a taproot (1-)2-4 mm diam, 1.5-13 cm long, from the base repeatedly and closely branching, the internodes all short (up to 1.5 cm long but mostly less), floriferous upward from near or below the middle, together forming circular leafy mats mostly 5-20 cm diameter." (reslit: 2892).

"A. beatleyae may be recognized by the combination of short, repeatedly and closely branching stems, appressed vesture, few (2-4) pairs of rather broad notched leaflets crowded toward the end of a subfiliform leaf-stalk, and a small, subdiaphanous, bladdery pod only a trifle oblique and not mottled (though sometimes purple-speckled) enclosing only four pairs of ovules or seeds." (reslit: 2892).


From the Image Gallery

No images of this plant

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Fruit Type: Legume
Size Notes: "Circular leafy mats mostly 5-20 cm diameter." (reslit: 2892).
Leaf: "Stipules submembranous becoming pallid or brownish, ultimately fragile, deltate to broadly triangular, more or less semiamplexicaul, 1-2.5(-3) mm long; leaves 1.5-3.5 cm long, with very slender, proportionately elongate petiole and (3-)5-9 obovate-cuneate to broadly oblanceolate, emarginate, loosely folded leaflets 1.5-7 mm long spaced along a rachis not over 9 mm long." (reslit: 2892).
Flower: "Flowers (May-June) are blue-violet." (webref: 52). "Peduncles 2-15 mm long, much shorter than the leaf, incurved-ascending; racemes loosely but shortly 2-7-flowered, the flowers in age nodding and variably spreading, the axis little elongating, in fruit not over 1 cm long; bracts membranous, pallid, deltate, 0.4-1 mm long; pedicels very slender, at anthesis about 1 mm long, in fruit not thickened, flexuous, 1.5-2 mm long, disjointing in age; calyx 3.1-4.6 mm long, strigulose with short, appressed, white hairs, the subsymmetric disc 0.5-0.8 mm, the campanulate tube 2.1-2.8 mm long, 1.7-2 mm diam, the subulate teeth subequal, up to 1-1.8 mm long, the whole becoming papery, ruptured, persistent; petals blue-violet, the banner striate in the pale eye; banner abruptly recurved through 60-80 degrees, broadly obovate-cuneate, notched, 6-6.8 mm long, 4.4-5 mm wide; wings nearly as long, the claw 2-2.5 mm, the oblanceolate, slightly incurved blades 4.2-4.6 mm long, 1.6-2 mm wide, both slightly and subequally incurved; keel 5-5.7 mm long, the claws 2-2.5 mm, the obliquely triangular blades 3.2-3.7 mm long, 1.7-1.9 mm wide, abruptly incurved through about 105 degrees to the sharply triangular, often slightly porrect apex; anthers 0.35-0.4 mm long." (reslit: 2892).
Fruit: "Pod pendulous or (when humistrate) ascending, sessile on and deciduous from the low-conic receptacle, obliquely ovoid, bladdery-inflated, 7-14 mm long, 4.5-7.5 mm diam, rounded at base, contracted distally into a deltate or scarcely differentiated, erect or slightly incurved beak up to 3 mm long, the sutures both filiform, the ventral one less convex than the dorsal, the valves thinly papery, pale green often minutely purple-speckled where exposed to sun (but not mottled), becoming stramineous, subdiaphanous, thinly and minutely strigulose with appressed hairs, not inflexed, the funicular flange obsolete; ovules 8; seeds green turning fulvous, dull, pitted, about 2 mm long." (reslit: 2892).

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Blue , Violet
Bloom Time: May , Jun
Bloom Notes: "Flowers are blue-violet. Flowering late spring." (webref: 52).


Native Distribution: "Endemic to Nye County, Nevada. Probably found only in a 15x15 mile area on or near Pahute Mesa on Nevada Nuclear Test Site." (webref: 28).
Native Habitat: "Volcanic flat-rock and areas in sagebrush scrub and pinyon-juniper woodland. 1700-2070 m elevation." (webref: 28). "Thin, dry, open residual soils on flat to gently sloping volcanic tuff, mostly in pinyon-juniper woodland with Artemisia nova, Ericameria nana, etc; 5180-6920 feet (1579-2109 meters)." (webref: 52).

Web Reference

Webref 28 - NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life (2018) NatureServe
Webref 52 - Rare Plant Fact Sheet (2002) NEVADA NATURAL HERITAGE PROGRAM

Research Literature

Reslit 2892 - A NEW ASTRAGALUS FROM NYE COUNTY, NEVADA (1970) Barneby, Rupert C.

This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
Search More Titles in Research Literature

Additional resources

USDA: Find Astragalus beatleyae in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Astragalus beatleyae in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Astragalus beatleyae


Record Modified: 2020-12-07
Research By: Joseph A. Marcus

Go back