Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Ben Franklin
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Deseret milkvetch, Astragalus desereticus, is a Federally listed threatened plant that occurs at a single site in Utah County, Utah. A member of the bean family, this species is a perennial herb with gray-silvery leaves four to five cm long and white to pinkish petals with evident lilac-colored keel-tips. It blooms from late April to early June. Deseret milkvetch grows exclusively on sandy-gravelly soils weathered from conglomerate outcrops of the Moroni Formation. It likes steep south and west (rarely north) facing slopes and does well on larger, west-facing road-cuts. It grows in an open pinyon-juniper-sagebrush community, at elevations ranging from 1645 to 1740 meters. The species' habitat is state and privately owned; mainly occurring within a wildlife management area on which cattle grazing is allowed.


  • Barneby, R.C. 1989. Intermountain flora, vol. 3B: Fabales. Bronx: New York Botanical Garden. 279 pp.

  • Franklin, M.A. (Ben). 1990. Report for 1990 Challenge Cost Share project, Manti-La Sal National Forest. Target species: Astragalus desereticus Barneby (Deseret milkvetch). Utah Natural Heritage Program, Department of Natural Resources, Salt Lake City. 6 pp. + appendices.