Jun. 5, 2018

Canada milkvetch, Astragalus canadensis

Canada milkvetch may be our most assertive plant in this genus. Most milkvetch grows in the western half of the continent. Canada turns up just about everywhere. It may be most prominent in the plains, where the tall plants can easily be seen as one zips along I-80. The Blackfoot, Dakota, Lakota, Omaha and Ponca tribes used the roots as both food and medicine. In those days you made use of everything. One item even mentions boiling them in blood. These days we can afford different sensibilities. Canada milkvetch grows in every state except AK, FL, HI, MA, ME, NH, NM, and RI, and in AB, BC, MB, NT, ON, QC, and SK. It is endangered in MD, and threatened in MI and VT.
Hidden Lake Gardens, Lenawee Co MI, 8/3/14.