Species Fact Sheet
Applegate's milk-vetch
Astragalus applegatei
Photo - Applegate's Milk-vetch (Ron Larson, USFWS). Map of Oregon showing distribution of Applegate's milk-vetch

STATUS: Endangered

Applegate's milk-vetch potentially occurs in these Oregon counties

(Map may reflect historical as well as recent sightings)

Applegate's milk-vetch was federally listed as endangered without critical habitat in 1993 (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1993). A recovery plan was published in 1998 (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1998).

Description and Life History

Applegate's milk-vetch is a slender perennial in the pea family (Fabaceae) with stems 3-4 dm (12-16 in) long. The leaves are typically 3.5-7 cm (1.4-2.8 in) long with 7-11 leaflets. The petals are whitish, measuring up to 7 mm (0.3 in) long. The tip of the keel is faintly lilac- tinged. The fruit is a pod and is widely spreading or declined. Dehiscence (pod opening at maturity) starts at the top of the pod and continues downward. Applegate's milkvetch typically flowers from June to early August.


Applegate's milk-vetch occurs in flat-lying, seasonally moist, strongly alkaline soils dominated by greasewood (Sarcobatus vermiculatus) with sparse, native bunch grasses and patches of bare soil.

Reasons for Decline

Urban development, agriculture, weeds, fire suppression, flood control and land reclamation have contributed to the decline of this species.


This species is historically known from only four sites, near the city of Klamath Falls in Klamath County, Oregon, approximately 1250 m (4,100 ft) above sea level. The largest population is located near Ewauna Lake in Klamath Falls; a significant portion of the site this population occurs on is owned by The Nature Conservancy.

References and Links

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1993. Determination of Endangered Status for the Plant Astragalus applegatei (Applegate's Milk-vetch). Federal Register 58:40547-40551. https://ecos.fws.gov/docs/frdocs/1993/93-17934.pdf

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1998. Applegate's milk-vetch (Astragalus applegatei) recovery plan. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Portland, Oregon. 41 pp. http://ecos.fws.gov/docs/recovery_plans/1998/980410d.pdf