Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
General: Legume family (Fabaceae). Short-toothed Canada milkvetch is a native, rhizomatous, perennial legume. It has a lower, comparatively more robust growth than A. canadensis var. mortonii. The erect or sometimes horizontal and ascending stems are usually 6 – 22 inches long, herbage usually paler green. The leaves are usually 2 – 6 inches long. The leaves are smooth or sometimes with minute hairs giving a grayish appearance; with 15 to 23 leaflets that are 1/4 to 1 1/4 inches long. The small hairs of the leaves and stems are shaped like picks, attached in the middle. The flowers are yellowish white, straw colored to greenish white, sometimes tinged with dull purple, with a pea flower shape, located at the ends of long stalks. The fruit is a grooved pod, 10 to 15 millimeters long and divided into two cells with usually 18 – 25 seeds. (Barneby, 1964)
Chromosome number: 2N=16 (Hu, et al, 2006)
Distribution: Astragalus canadensis var. brevidens occurs nearly throughout the western and northern Great and Columbia Basins, from east central and northeastern California to interior Washington and southern British Columbia, east to the upper Missouri River in southwestern Montana, the upper North Platte River in southern Wyoming and northwestern Colorado, northern Utah and central Nevada and southwestern Utah. (Barneby, 1964)
For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.
Habitat: It is found commonly with sagebrush but ascends along water courses into dry habitat pine forest, is widespread, common and locally abundant, often forming extensive clumps or colonies, nearly throughout the western and northern Great and Columbia Basins. (Barneby, 1964)