Astragalus agrestis (Field Milkvetch)
|Also known as:
|sun; moist soil; low areas of meadows and prairies, along shores
|June - July
|6 to 12 inches
|Wetland Indicator Status:
|GP: FACU MW: FACW NCNE: FACW
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):
Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.
Light purple pea-like flowers in a round to ovoid cluster at the tip of a stalk emerging from a leaf axil. Clusters are up to 1 inch wide by 1 inch tall; the stalk shorter or longer than the associated leaf. Flowers are ½ to ¾ inch long, the outer flowers blooming first. The calyx holding the flower is densely covered in long gray to black hairs.
Leaves and stems:
Leaves are compound in groups of 13 to 21, up to 4 inches long and 1½ inch wide, alternately attached. Leaflets are up to ¾ inch long, lance-elliptic to oblong, toothless with sparse to dense hairs on both surfaces. Multiple stems are smooth or slightly hairy, scattered, emerging from a small crown or from underground rhizomes.
A species moist prairies at cooler latitudes, Field Milkvetch is limited to Minnesota's western counties. The flowers are very similar to Prairie Milkvetch (A. adsurgens), which has a far denser stem cluster. Field Milkvetch has a more spidery appearance.
Please visit our sponsors
Native Plant Nurseries, Restoration and Landscaping Services ↓
Photos by K. Chayka and Peter M. Dziuk taken at Strandness Prairie in Pope County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?