Astragalus cicer (Chickpea Milk-Vetch) - photos and description

Pods with longer white hairs and shorter black hairs.

Plants form dense clumps.

Plants form dense clumps.

Plants form dense clumps.

Calyx and peduncle with black hairs.


General: Plants strongly rhizomatous forming dense clumps. Plants pubescent, petioles, calyx, and upper stems with scattered black hairs.

Flowers: Flowers in spikes, white to pale yellow, we measured a flower at 14 mm long, and a keel petal at 9 mm long, and a flower spike was measured at 4 cm long. Calyx with scattered black hairs. Flowers fragrant, with a scent similar to Yellow Clover.

Fruit: Ovoid (egg-shaped) to globose (round), inflated, with a groove down the middle of the fruit, pubescent with long white hairs and short black hairs. We measured a fruit at 12 mm long by 10 mm wide.

Leaves: Leaves alternate, pinnate, with up to 29 leaflets. the leaflets oblong, we measured a leaflet at 25 m long by 7 mm wide. Leaflets paler green beneath. Top and bottom sides of leaflets are pubescent.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 60 cm, we measured plants to 59 cm tall.

Habitat: Ditches, disturbed soil, pastures. Has been introduced into the province in revegetation efforts.

Abundance: Uncommon.

How to identify this species of Astragalus: Flowers yellow to yellow-white; pods inflated, globular to ovoid,  pubescent with black and white hairs; leaves with basifixed (not malpighian) hairs.

Origin: introduced.

When and where photographed: The above photos were taken June 21st, plants just beginning to flower and July 9th with the plants at their peak of flowering and some fruit present, on a prairie roadside about 70 km southeast of our home in Regina, SK.