Milkvetch, Canada

CHARACTERISTICS
Plant Height 5 ft.
Botanical Name Astragalus canadensis
Life Cycle Perennial
Environment Full Sun - Partial Sun
Preferred Sites Upland/Grassland
Bloom Period May-August
Flower Color White
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Description

Canadian Milkvetch is a smooth stout-stemmed plant.

RANGE & HABITAT: Canadian Milkvetch is commonly found in dry prairies, moist shores, riverbanks, marshy grounds and open or partly shaded ground. This species required a well-drained soil in a sunny position. It has low tolerance of root disturbance and cannot tolerate extremely cold weather.

CULTIVATION: Canadian Milkvetch seeds should be sown in a cold grame as soon as they are ripe. Seeds should be pre-soaked for twenty-four hours in hot water before sowing. Germination can be slow but is usually within four to nine weeks if the seeds are sown fresh. When they are large enough to handle, place the seedlings into individual pots and grow plant them in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them into their permanent positions in spring or early summer.

USES: Canadian Milkvetch looks similar to some closely related poisonous locoweeds, so its use is not recommended unless positive identification can be made. Many members of this genus contain a poison that affects cattle. They become affected with a sort of insanity, a slow poisoning that can cause death within a period of months or even a year or two.

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