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Astragalus australis (Indian milkvetch)
Smith, R.W.

Astragalus australis

Astragalus australis (L.) Lam.

Indian Milkvetch

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Synonym(s): Astragalus aboriginorum, Astragalus aboriginorum var. fastigiorum, Astragalus aboriginorum var. glabriusculus, Astragalus aboriginorum var. lepagei, Astragalus aboriginorum var. richardsonii, Astragalus australis var. aboriginorum, Astragalus australis var. glabriusculus, Astragalus australis var. lepagei, Astragalus australis var. major, Astragalus australis var. muriei, Astragalus forwoodii, Astragalus forwoodii var. wallowensis, Astragalus glabriusculus var. major, Astragalus linearis, Astragalus richardsonii, Astragalus scrupulicola, Atelophragma aboriginorum

USDA Symbol: ASAU4

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

Gathered by the Cree and the Stone First Nations as a spring vegetable. Has a broad natural range, from temperate and subarctic Eurasia to western North America in similar environments. Found as far north as Banks Island in Canada and as far south as montane Colorado.


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Inflorescence: Raceme
Fruit Type: Legume
Fruit: Deep red.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul


USA: AK , CO , ID , MT , ND , NV , OR , SD , UT , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NT , NU , SK , YT
Native Distribution: Temperate and subarctic Eurasia and western North America as far south as Colorado.
Native Habitat: Prairie/Meadow/Field,Alpine

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry


Use Food: Gathered by North American indigenous people as a spring vegetable.
Warning: Plant or part of plant poisonous
Attracts: Butterflies


Bibref 1775 - Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (2007) Aiken, S. G. et al.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Astragalus australis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Astragalus australis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Astragalus australis


Record Modified: 2015-03-16
Research By: TWC Staff

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