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Canadian Milkvetch Back to Plant Page
Astragalus canadensis

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About Canadian Milkvetch (Astragalus canadensis) Astragalus canadensis is a common and widespread member of the milkvetch genus in the legume family, known commonly as Canadian milkvetch. The plant is found throughout Canada and the United States in many habitats including wetlands, woodlands, and prairies. It sends out several thin, erect, green stems, bearing leaves that are actually made up of pairs of leaflets, each leaflet up to 3 centimeters in length. It has flower clusters of tubular, greenish-white flowers which yield beanlike fruits within pods that rattle when dry. Like other Astragalus species, A. canadensis is somewhat toxic, but it has been used medicinally by Native American groups such as the Blackfoot and Lakota people, particularly the roots.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
0.5 - 1.8 ft (0.15 - 0.5 m)


Growth Rate

Flower Color
White, Green

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Spring-moist places with heavy soils


Elevation ?
1568' - 8242'

Annual Precip. ?
9.7" - 66.2"

Summer Precip. ?
0.93" - 2.09"

Coldest Month ?
24.9° F - 34.1° F

Hottest Month ?
52.0° F - 63.0° F

Humidity ?
0.59 vpd - 18.60 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers loamy soils

Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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