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Electronic Flora of South Australia genus Fact Sheet

Family: Leguminosae
Astragalus

Citation: L., Sp. Pl. 755 (1753).

Derivation: Greco-Latin name of the ankle-bone; also of some leguminous plant.

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Milk-vetches, loco weeds.

Description:
Annual biennial and perennial herbs and subshrubs; leaves stipulate, paripinnate or imparipinnate, rarely unfoliolate or digitately 3-foliolate, sometimes the rhachis produced into a hard terminal spine; leaflets entire, exstipellate.

Inflorescences axillary or pseudo-terminal, racemose or spicate, occasionally umbellate, or flowers rarely solitary; flowers bracteate, pedicellate or sessile, violet or purple to white or pale-yellow; bracteoles minute or wanting; calyx cylindrical or campanulate, sometimes inflated, teeth subequal; standard erect or recurved, ovate or obovate to oblong, sometimes appendiculate, usually longer than the wings and keel, wings and keel generally with long claws; wings oblong; keel straight or upcurved, with an obtuse apex; 9 stamens united in a tube, adaxial stamen free; anthers uniform; ovary sessile or stipitate, glabrous or pubescent, few- or many-ovulate; style straight or incurved; stigma terminal, sometimes penicillate.

Pod sessile or stipitate, 2-valved, cylindrical, rarely somewhat inflated, often divided longitudinally by a septum arising from the abaxial suture; seed generally reniform, exarillate.

Distribution:  One of the biggest Angiospermous genera with about 2,000 species, in the Old and New World, absent from Malaysia and Australasia.

Biology: No text

Key to Species:
1. Peduncles 3-5 cm long; pods 2-5 cm long, strongly curved; hairs on the stem and branches medifixed
A. hamosus 1.
1. Peduncles less than 0.5 cm long; pod 1-1.5 cm long, straight and erect; hairs on the stem and branches mainly basifixed
A. sesameus 2.

Author: Not yet available


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