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

Astragalus falcatus Lam.
Russian sickle milk-vetch (Russian milkvetch)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #16028)

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Distribution of Astragalus falcatus
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Species Information

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Stout perennial herb from a stem-base; stems erect to ascending, 40-80 cm tall, thinly short-appressed-hairy with black and white, basally 2-forked hairs.
Alternate, pinnately compound, nearly unstalked, 7-15 cm long; leaflets 19 to 37, oblong to elliptic, pointed at the tip, 10-30 mm long; stipules lanceolate, membranous, 5-12 mm long, the lowermost fused into a sheath, the upper ones free.
Inflorescence a spike-like, axillary raceme of 10 to 50 drooping, pea-like flowers, the racemes 6-20 cm long on stout stalks 6-15 cm long; corollas yellowish- or greenish-white, sometimes purplish-tinged, 7-10 mm long, the banner stubby, about as long as the wings and keel; calyces about 5 mm long, the triangular or awl-shaped teeth 1/3-1/2 as long as the bell-shaped tube.
Pods, lanceolate or lance-elliptic, sickle-shaped, 2-3 cm long, unstalked, drooping, stiff-papery or somewhat leathery, glabrous to thinly appressed-hairy, 2-chambered.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry to mesic grasslands, fields and roadsides in the steppe and montane zones; rare in extreme SE BC, known only from Roosville, Kootenay River; introduced as a forage crop from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References