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Click to read about the Astragalus genus.

Astragalus lentiginosus variety palans 

Astragalus lentiginosus

Astragalus diphysis

Astragalus lentiginosus variety palans (Freckled Milkvetch)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Semi-desert. Openings. Spring.
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, March 17, 2005 and
Hidden Valley Trail, Utah, April 23, 2014 & April 15, 2015.

Astragalus lentiginosus often grows in dense and large expanses of numerous arching leaflets.  Where you find one mound of this plant, you will often find a dozen more within twenty feet. The plant prefers hot, dry, sandy to gravelly areas.

Astragalus lentiginosus is one of the most variable plants in the western United States.  Kartesz lists an astounding 38 varieties and the nomenclature is no less astounding: Intermountain Flora gives an entire page of synonyms.

David Douglas (of Douglas Fir fame) is given credit for discovering A. lentiginosus in the early 1800s in northeast Oregon.  Douglas also receives the credit for naming the plant Astragalus lentiginosus in Hooker's 1831 Flora boreali-Americana. (Click the title to read.)  Marcus Jones named the palans variety in 1898 from a collection made in Montezuma Canon, Utah, by Alice Eastwood in 1892. 

"Lentiginosus" is Latin for "freckled" and refers to the pod.

Astragalus lentiginosus varitety palans 

Astragalus lentiginosus

Astragalus lentiginosus variety palans (Freckled Milkvetch)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Semi-desert. Openings. Spring.
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, March 17, 2005 and
Hidden Valley Trail, Utah, April 23, 2014.

Beautifully symmetrical, delicately streaked flowers top the mass of leaves on leafless straight stems.

Astragalus lentiginosus variety palans   Astragalus lentiginosus variety palans 

Astragalus lentiginosus variety palans  (Freckled Milk Vetch)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Semi-desert. Openings. Spring.
Hidden Valley Trail, Utah, April 23, 2014 and
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, May 26, 2011.

Pods vary from nearly straight to incurved and from green and fleshy when young to spotted and leathery or stiff in age. Pods are often dorsally sulcate, i.e., grooved on the lower surface, as best seen in the second photograph of the green pods above. Mature pods are red mottled, nearly straight to gently incurved, and have a distinctive sharply pointed beak.
Astragalus lentiginosus varitety palans
Astragalus lentiginosus variety palans (Freckled Milk Vetch)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)
 

Semi-desert. Openings. Spring.
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, May 26, 2011.

Range maps © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Questionable presence

Range map for Astragalus lentiginosus

Astragalus lentiginosus variety palans

Range map for Astragalus lentiginosus variety palans