Common Name

Scientific Name

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

Isely milkvetch, Astragalus iselyi, is a rare local endemic that occurs at a scattering of sites along the west slope of the La Sal Mountains in San Juan and Grand counties, Utah. A member of the bean family, this species is a perennial herb with an evident, characteristically red stem and large white flowers that bloom from (March) April to mid-May. Isely milkvetch grows on silty, sandy to gravelly clay slopes and draws on substrates weathered from the Morrison, Paradox(?) or Mancos shale formations. It grows in pinyon-juniper and desert shrub communities, at elevations ranging from 1512 to 2018 meters. The species' habitat is under federal management and state ownership and has received impacts from road building and uranium mining, and minor impacts from off-road vehicle use.


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

  • Franklin, M.A. 2003. 2001-2002 survey results: Astragalus iselyi Welsh (Isely milkvetch). Utah Natural Heritage Program, Division of Wildlife Resources, Salt Lake City. 46 pp. + appendices.