South California, south Nevada and west Arizona
Gravelly places in sagebrush and pinyon-juniper woodland, from 2,000 to 6,000 feet
Up to 4 inches long, odd-pinnately divided into between 7 and 15 oblanceolate to oblong leaflets, with pointed tips
Astragalus coccineus is easily recognized since it is the only red-flowered milkvetch in the US. Although locally common the plant is not widespread, instead found in scattered colonies, mostly in the Mojave Desert and Owens Valley in California, and Kofa NWR in Arizona.
The banner petal is bent back at about a 30 degree angle while the keel petal projects forwards; both are up to 1.5 inches long. The banner has a white patch at the center, crossed by red veins. Seed pods are broad, approximately ovate in outline, usually curved, and densely covered with long, shaggy, whitish hairs. Flowers form in clusters of up to ten.
Plants have no stem; the long-stalked flower clusters and compound leaves grow directly from the base. Stalks and leaves are densely covered with short white hairs. Leaflets are grey-green in color, often angled upwards relative to the stem, and partly folded along the midvein.