Plants and Animals
Astragalus neglectus Cooper's milk vetch
Perennial forb (30-90 cm) of limestone glades, savannas, and shorelines; arising from a taproot, leafy branching stems bear compound leaves with 13-25 small (1-3 cm) elliptic leaflets; flowers white; fruit an ovoid pod over 10 mm thick.
Status and Rank
State Status: SC - Special Concern (rare or uncertain; not legally protected)
Global Rank: G4 - Apparently secure
State Rank: S3 - Vulnerable
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Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.
Found in a variety of open calcareous habitats ranging in moisture from marshy to dry. Sometimes occurs in rocky clearings and shores, sandy oak openings, and alvar.
Natural Community Types
For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.
Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.
Black oak, white oak, pin oak, hickory, sassafras, service berry, New Jersey tea, sweetfern, beaked hazelnut, little bluestem, prairie dropseed, cat's foot, Canadian milk vetch, harebell, sedges, Indian paintbrush, field chickweed, bastard toad flax, grass, hair grass, prairie smoke, ground juniper, bee-balm, shrubby cinquefoil, old field goldenrod, cross-leaved goldenrod, big bluestem, Pennsylvania sedge, Indian plantain.
Protect habitat and hydrological and natural disturbance regimes. Prevent invasive species from entering the site. This species likely requires natural disturbances associated with prairie habitat such as prescribed fire or brush removal to prevent woody plant succession. Much of this habitat type has been lost or severely degraded. This species is often lost in the later stages of succession.
Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgment of the investigator.
Survey Period: From first week of July to fourth week of August
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- Holmgren, N.H. 1998. Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the vascular plants of Northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx. 937pp.
- Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region, 4th ed. Indiana Academy of Science, Indianapolis. 921pp.
- Voss, E. G. 1985. Michigan Flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae-Cornaceae). Bulletin of the Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. 724pp.