Astragalus trichopodus (Nutt.) A. Gray var. phoxus (M.E. Jones)

Santa Barbara Milkvetch
Fabaceae (Pea Family)


Santa Barbara milkvetch or locoweed is a variant of the more common Southern California locoweed (Astragalus trichopodus var. lonchus). Please refer to that species for a general description.  Var. phoxus has fruit that is compressed side-to-side but is not as bladdery or inflated as var. lonchus, being approximately 1/8"-3/8" wide as opposed to 1/4"-3/4" wide for lonchus.  Also, in phoxus both the upper and lower sutures form a distinct ridge, whereas in lonchus the upper suture is much less convex.  Var. phoxus, which was formerly named A. antiselli, occupies generally dryish inland slopes and hillsides to about 4000' in chaparral and coastal sage scrub, blooming from February to June.  It extends from Los Angeles to the Antelope Valley including the West Transverse Range and the west edge of the Mojave Desert.  North of Santa Barbara County, it reaches the coast.  These photos were taken in Kern Co.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Astragalus 2) trichopodus 3) phoxus.
Pronunciation: as-TRAG-a-lus try-ko-PO-dus FOX-us.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.


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