Coastal Dunes Milkvetch

See a full-sized photograph of the inset flower

Read about the endangered status of this plant

California Department of Fish and Game
Habitat Conservation Planning Branch

Coastal Dunes Milk-vetch
Astragalus tener var. titi

State Status: Endangered, 1982
Federal Status: Endangered, 1998


General Habitat: Coastal Dunes

Coastal dunes milk-vetch is a low, dwarf annual plant in the pea family (Fabaceae). It has slender stems, leaves divided into wedge-like or oval leaflets, terminal clusters of purple flowers, and straight or curved pods. This plant grows in moist depressions on clay soils in coastal terrace grasslands and in coastal strand vegetation on sand dunes.

Historically, coastal dunes milk-vetch was known from seven sites in Monterey, Los Angeles, and San Diego counties. Only one population, on the Monterey Peninsula, has been located in recent years, and numbers fluctuate greatly from year to year in response to local rainfall and competition with native and non-native species. The population is bisected by Seventeen-mile Drive and has two different owners. The inland side of the road is subject to golfing and equestrian activities, some of which are detrimental to the milk-vetch. In 1997, the DFG began cooperating with the landowner on the coast side of Seventeen-mile Drive to implement a recovery program based on recommendations from a federal Section 6 research project and a 1995 DFG recovery workshop. The program includes control of competing species such as cut-leaf plantain and pansa sedge.

The status in 1999 of coastal dunes milk-vetch: Declining.