Astragalus canadensis (Canadian Milk-Vetch) - photos and description

 

Astragalus canadensis

Astragalus canadensis

Astragalus canadensis
Large patch of plants with flowers gone to seed

Astragalus canadensis

Astragalus canadensis

Astragalus canadensis

Astragalus canadensis

Astragalus canadensis

General: Perennial with stout stems, creeping rootstalks and a bushy growth habit. Stems red towards the bottom, pubescent.

Flowers: Flowers greenish-white, grow in dense spikes. We measured a spike to 6 cm long, a flower was measured 14 mm long. The calyx is strigose and has long, narrow teeth with sharp points. We measured the calyx at 8 mm long (including teeth). The lowest flowers are pendant, the topmost flowers are ascending.

Fruit: The pods are ascending, circular in profile, dense (woody) in composition. We measured a pod at 1.6 cm long.

Leaves: Leaves alternate, pinnate, we counted up to 21 leaflets; leaflets are lanceolate to oblong, we measured a leaflet at 27 mm long by 14 mm wide. Leaf bottoms lighter green than leaf tops. Leaf bottoms are covered with small hairs, top of leaves sparsely hairy.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 100 cm, we measured plants to 65 cm tall.

Habitat: Moist, open woodlands, and shores.

Abundance: Listed as common in Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Saskatchewan. Uncommon in my experience, I've only encountered this plant in a couple of locations.

Origin: Native.

When and where photographed: Above photos taken July 21st, shoreline of saline lake in prairie, 350 km southwest of our home in Regina, SK.