Astragalus australis (Indian Milk-Vetch) - photos and description


15 cm ruler 






General: Decumbent to erect plant with few to many stems. Leaves are greyish-green in colour, stem and leaves are pubescent.

Flowers: Racemes of white flowers with a purple-tipped keel, flowers pendant. Raceme measured to 3 cm long, flowers measured to 8 mm in length. Calyx with black hairs. Inflorescence elongating when in fruit. Fruit pendant, red in colour, we measured a legume at 2 cm long.

Leaves: Leaves alternate, pinnate with 9 or 11 leaflets. Leaf measured at 5 cm long by 3 cm wide, leaflets linear-lanceolate, stalkless, a leaflet measured at 23 mm long and 4 mm wide. I

Height: Budd's Flora lists its stems growing to a length of 40 cm, we measured plants to 29 cm tall.

Habitat: Budd's Flora lists its habitat as gravel banks along rivers and slopes. We found them on gravelly slopes.

Abundance: Rare, ranked as an S3 (as of 2021) by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre.

Origin: Native.

Synonym: This plant is listed in some of the field guides we use as Astragalus aboriginum.

When and where photographed: Took the above photos May19th and June 19th, Cypress Hills, about 450 km south west of our home in Regina, SK.