Stems and calyces of astragalus minthorniae
, a Mojave Desert species, usually have a dense covering of coarse, spreading, greyish hairs, often curly and uneven-looking. Calyx hairs are darker grey. Stems grow vertically upwards or at an angle. Leaflets are grey-green, hairy, closely-spaced but generally not overlapping; they may have a reddish tint, especially along the edges.
The inflorescence is a vertical, elongated cluster of between 7 and 35 flowers, upright or ascending. Flowers have a greenish-purple calyx and yellowish to purple petals, often lighter at the edges. Petals become bluish as they wither. Fruits point upwards; they are red when mature, gently curved, around one inch long, covered by short, spreading hairs.
Two varieties are var minthorniae
of south Nevada, and the more widespread var villosus
, which is generally hairier.