Astragalus newberryi A. Gray
Family: Fabaceae
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Max Licher  
Jepson 2012, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Herbaceous perennials, low-growing in small tufts (cespitose), stems many, erect to prostrate, herbage pubescent with long, silky, partly spreading hairs, plants with old leaf bases persistent. Leaves: Alternate, odd-1-pinnate, 1.5-15 cm long overall, leaflets 3-15, 5-20 mm long, with acute to blunt tips, these sometimes notched, with entire margins, leaflets jointed to midrib, blades with membranaceous stipules, the lower ones fused around stem into sheaths (stipule sheaths) or not. Flowers: Bilateral, purple with white or white with purple, sometimes pinkish, banner petals conspicuous, 21.5-30 mm long and much larger than the wing and keel petals, recurved to about 40 degrees, keels 18.5-26 mm long, with a small protrusion at the base locking into a pit on the adjacent wing, calyx with more white than black hairs, filaments with 9 fused and 1 free, ovaries sessile, styles slender, stigmas minute, inflorescences ascending with flowers in loose clusters of 3-8. Fruits: Sessile, ovate and inflated legumes, 13-28 mm long and 7-13 mm wide, each end tapering to a point, generally incurved, with 1 chamber, surfaces densely woolly with white hairs 2-4.5 mm long, some straight and some curly, the thin walls of the fruit mottle Ecology: Found in rocky areas, on mesas and especially in pi-on-juniper woodland communities, from 4,500-7,500 ft (1372-2286 m); flowering March-June. Distribution: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah. Notes: The flowers of this Astragalus are distinctive with an oversized banner petal, purple to white in color, the wing and keel petals are much reduced by comparison and usually vibrant purple even when the banner petals are white. Look for this species in Arizona in Apache, Mohave, Coconino, Navajo, Yavapai, and Gila counties. Ethnobotany: Specific uses for this species are unknown, but other species in the genus have uses; plant considered poisonous, especially to stock and horses, however medicinally; decoction of whole plant used as a wash for the head, hair and whole body, plant used for stomach disorders, as a gargle for sore throats, poultice of crushed leaves applied to lame back, applied as an ointment for animals with urination troubles, roots chewed as a cathartic, infusion of root used as a wash for sores and as a wash for granulated eyelids and toothaches, also plants used as a ceremonial emetic, seeds used for food, and pounded seeds mixed with other foods and used as a spice. Synonyms: Many, see Tropicos Editor: LCrumbacher2012 Etymology: Astragalus comes from the Greek astragalos meaning "ankle bone" and an early name applied to some plants in this family because of the shape of the seeds, and newberryi is named after John Strong Newberry (1822-1892), an American physician, geologist, paleontologist and botanist who collected in California on the Williamson Railroad Survey.
Astragalus newberryi image
Photo ©Al Schneider, swcoloradowildflowers.com  
Astragalus newberryi image
Max Licher  
Astragalus newberryi image
Photo ©Al Schneider, swcoloradowildflowers.com  
Astragalus newberryi image
Max Licher  
Astragalus newberryi image
Photo ©Al Schneider, swcoloradowildflowers.com  
Astragalus newberryi image
Max Licher  
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Kirstin Phillips  
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. Eastern Nevada Landscape Coalition  
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