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Click to read about the Astragalus genus.

This is a non-native species.

Astragalus cicer
Astragalus cicer  (Chickpea Milkvetch)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Foothills, montane. Meadows, roadsides. Spring, summer.
Roaring Fork Road, August 10, 2011.

In the Four Corners area, this non-native Astragalus is not common.  Astragalus cicer was introduced as a forage and cover crop and is sometimes used in reclamation projects. The plants pictured may have been introduced for roadside stabilization.

The plant spreads into dense colonies from rhizomes and when growing conditions are optimum, as shown in these photograph, this species can spread over hundreds of square feet and grow to nearly three feet tall.

Linnaeus named this species in 1753 from specimens collected in "Austria, Helvetia, Italia".  "Cicer" is the Latin generic name for the Chickpea.

Astragalus cicer

Astragalus cicer

Astragalus cicer

Astragalus cicer (Chickpea Milkvetch)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Foothills, montane. Meadows, roadsides. Spring, summer.
Roaring Fork Road, July 9, 2015.

Individual flowers are tilted upward, the banner is quite erect, and the color is termed "ochroleucous", from the Greek, "pale yellow, white".

 

Astragalus cicer

Astragalus cicer

Astragalus cicer

 

 

Astragalus cicer (Chickpea Milkvetch)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Foothills, montane. Meadows, roadsides. Spring, summer.
Top and bottom left: Roaring Fork Road, September 27, 2014.
Middle: Roaring Fork Road, August 10, 2011.

 

 

Pod hairs are short, white, and upright.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grooves in the pods are quite visible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pods darken with age and remain on the plant for some time after splitting open and spilling their seeds.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Questionable presence

Astragalus cicer

Range map for Astragalus cicer