E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Astragalus eucosmus B.L. Rob.
elegant milk-vetch (elegant milkvetch)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #30060)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Astragalus eucosmus
Click here to view our interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Perennial herb from a taproot and branching stem-base; stems solitary to few, ascending to erect, 15-70 cm tall, unbranched, with short, stiff, appressed, unbranched hairs.
Alternate, pinnately compound, 3-11 cm long on very short or no stalks; leaflets 9 to 19, thin, greenish, hairless above, hairy below, elliptic to lance-oblong, blunt or notched at the tip, 1-2.5 cm long; stipules lanceolate, 4-9 mm long, a few lowermost fused and clasping at the base, free above.
Inflorescence an axillary raceme of 10 to 30 pea-like flowers, the racemes compact and 2-3 cm long initially, elongating in age to 20 cm, on stalks 8-18 cm long and about twice the length of the leaves, the flowers nodding and becoming oriented to one side; corollas purplish, occasionally white, 6-9 mm long, the wings shorter than the banner, slightly longer than the keel; calyces bell-shaped, 2.5-4 mm long, black- or grey-hairy, the teeth linear-lanceolate and 1/2 as long as the tube.
Pods, obliquely egg-shaped to ellipsoid, rigid-pointed at the tip, somewhat flattened, drooping, densely grey-black-hairy, 8-12 mm long, straight, nearly unstalked, membranous-papery, 1-chambered but with a partial partition.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic meadows, streambanks, gravel bars, rocky slopes, thickets and open forests in the montane and lower subalpine zones; infrequent in BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to MT and CO.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Astragalus eucosmus

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 350 1463 2408
Slope Gradient (%) 0 19 70
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
20 154 320
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 6
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BWBS(3), ESSF(6), IDF(3), IMA(1), SBPS(1), SWB(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Astragalus eucosmus subsp. sealei (Lepage) Hult╬śn
Astragalus eucosmus var. facinorum Fernald
Astragalus parviflorus (Pursh) MacM.
Astragalus sealei Lepage
Atelophragma elegans (Hook.) Rydb.
Microphacos parviflorus (Pursh) Rydb.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References