Plants and Animals

Astragalus neglectus Cooper's milk vetch

species photo
Susan R. Crispin
species photo
Michael R. Penskar
species photo
Pat J. Comer
species photo
Michael R. Penskar
species photo
Michael R. Penskar

Key Characteristics

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

US Status:
State Status: SC - Special Concern (rare or uncertain; not legally protected)
Global Rank: G4 - Apparently secure
State Rank: S3 - Vulnerable

Occurrences

CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Bay11979
Chippewa52001
Clinton11882
Delta42013
Dickinson11905
Genesee11922
Gratiot11898
Ingham11895
Kalamazoo21954
Kent21897
Lapeer21922
Menominee11988
Ontonagon42016
Presque Isle32006
Tuscola11908
Washtenaw11930

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.

Habitat

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.

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.

Associated Plants

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.

Management Recommendations

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.

Survey Methods

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgment of the investigator.

  • Meander search

    • Survey Period: From first week of July to fourth week of August

References

Survey References

  • Elzinga, C.L., D.W. Salzer, and J.W. Willoughby. 1998. Measuring and Monitoring Plant Populations. The Nature Conservancy and Bureau of Land Management, Denver. BLM Technical Reference 1730-1. 477pp.
  • Goff, G.F., G.A. Dawson, and J.J. Rochow. 1982. Site examination for Threatened and Endangered plant species. Environmental Management 6(4): 307-316
  • Nelson, J.R. 1984. Rare Plant Field Survey Guidelines. In: J.P. Smith and R. York. Inventory of rare and endangered vascular plants of California. 3rd Ed. California Native Plant Society, Berkeley. 174pp.
  • Nelson, J.R. 1986. Rare Plant Surveys: Techniques For Impact Assessment. Natural Areas Journal 5(3):18-30.
  • Nelson, J.R. 1987. Rare Plant Surveys: Techniques for Impact Assessment. In: Conservation and management of rare and endangered plants. Ed. T.S. Elias. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento. 8pp.

Technical References

  • Coffin, B. and L. Pfannmuller, eds. 1988. Minnesota's Endangered Flora and Fauna. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis. 473pp.
  • Gleason, H. A., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second edition. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx. 910pp.
  • Gray, A. 1950. Gray's Manual of Botany; eighth ed. Van Nostrand Reinghold, New York. 1632pp.
  • 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.