Etymology: Astragalus: from Greek astragalos meaning "ankle bone" and an early name applied to some plants in this family because of the shape of the seeds; also could mean "star" or "milk"
Plants: erect, perennial, 1'-4' tall forb; stems usually with several branches
Leaves: pinnately-divided into an odd number of leaflets (15-35)
Flowers: yellow, 5-parted, 1/2" long, stalked; inflorescence a dense, tall, long-stalked, spike-like cluster (raceme) held above the upper leaves; blooms July-Aug.
Fruits: many, crowded, erect, inflated, 2-chambered pods
Habitat: full to partial sun; moderate moisture to dry; prairies, woods, shores; in sandy, loamy soil
Conservation Status: Native
Floristic Rating: Coefficient of Conservatism = 8, Wetland Indicator = FAC+ Atlas of the Wisconsin Prairie and Savanna Flora: by T.S. Cochrane & H.H. Iltis: habitat, distribution infomation / flowering and fruiting times USDA Plants Database: Federal Distribution and detailed information including photos Dan Tenaglia's The Missouri Flora: Fabulous photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leave arrangement key. Illinois Wildflowers: Wonderful photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leaf arrangement key Southwest School of Botanical Medicine: Britton & Brown Illustrated Flora - 2nd Edition (1913) "An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada"