Astragalus canadensis (Canada milkvetch)

Astragalus flower

Astragalus canadensis

Astragalus with bumblebee

Astragalus canadensis

Astragalus leaves

Zone: 3 to 8

Soil: Sand to loam

Light: Full sun to part sun

Bloom colour: Cream

Bloom period: June - July

Height: 36 - 48 inches

Moisture: Dry to moist

Attracts: Bumblebees and possibly hummingbirds.

Notes: Canada milk vetch is a good plant for sandy and infertile soils even though it can be found in riparian zones. It is native to most of North America. This plant can be distinguished from the weedy vetches found in disturbed areas by its lack of tendrils. The flowerhead is a raceme with the flowers in a whorled arrangement. Each flower has a deep corolla so only long-tongued animals such as bumblebees can access the nectar. The flowering period lasts a few weeks.

The plant is not commonly available, but you might be able to find it at your local native plant nursery. This plant does sprawl over other plants like a typical vetch and I would plant it with a tall and narrow tomato cage to give it some support. The plant can easily spread through stolons that should be pulled as soon as you see peripheral plants forming.


Astragalus canadensis