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Canada Milk Vetch (Astragalus canadensis)

Canada Milk Vetch (Astragalus canadensis)

Best grown in evenly moist, well-draining soils in full sun. Tolerant of drought and a wide range of soil types including dry soils and wet soils as long as they are well-draining. Hardy in Zones 3-8.


Astragalus canadensis, commonly called Canadian milkvetch, is a herbaceous perennial native to a variety of habitats throughout the United States and Canada including upland prairies, bluff ledges, forests, stream banks, railroad right-of-ways, roadsides, and pastures. Mature plants will reach up to 4' tall with a 2' spread. Upright to ascending, red-tinged, branched stems emerge from a woody rootstock. The 5-9" long, pinnately compound leaves have 15-31 pairs of oblong to elliptic, 0.5-2" long leaflets. Dense, terminal, spike-like racemes of creamy-white to pale green, slightly drooping, cylindrical flowers bloom in summer. The inflorescences are around 5-10" tall and the individual flowers can reach up to 0.75" long. The flowers are followed by 0.75" long and 0.25" wide, ovoid, inflated, beaked seed pods. The flowers are attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators. It is a host plant for the western tailed-blue and clouded sulfur butterflies.

Zone: 3 to 8

Height: 1.00 to 4.00 feet

Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet

Bloom Time: June to August

Bloom Description: Creamy white to pale green

Sun: Full sun

Water: Medium

Maintenance: Low

Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize

Flower: Showy

Attracts: Birds, Hummingbirds, Butterflies

Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil, Wet Soil


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