Astragalus canadensis – Canada Milk Vetch

SCIENTIFIC NAME:  Astragalus comes from the Greek astragalos meaning “ankle bone” probably because of the shape of the seeds.  It could also mean “star” or “milk.” 

FLOWER: Pagoda like stalk about 7-11 inches long with many tubular cream colored flowers about ¾ inches.  Each of the tubular flowers has five petals and curves slightly upward.  No scent.  

 BLOOMING PERIOD:  July to August  

SIZE:  1 to 4 ft tall stems, usually with several branches.

BEHAVIOR: Common nectar source for bumblebees and honeybees, food for deer, wild turkeys, rabbits and groundhogs.  

 SITE REQUIREMENTS: Full to partial sun, moderate to dry moisture.  It is found in prairies, woods, or shores in sandy, loamy soil.

NATURAL RANGE: Found throughout the U.S. except for Arizona and New England.  Also in Canada except for the far eastern region. 

 SPECIAL FEATURES: Leaves are alternate and compound, about 5-9 inches long.  Both leaves and seed pods add interest to a garden.  This plant is useful for fixing nitrogen.    

 SUGGESTED CARE:  Once established not much care is needed.  This plant is drought tolerant.