Canada Milkvetch Seeds (Astragalus canadensis)
Canada milkvetch is a robust perennial legume that’s also a bumble bee magnet once it starts flowering. Grouped plantings in particular typically produce a large response in bumble bee foraging activity, especially among long-tongued bumble bees, which often are the larger and less abundant species in many locations. It’s kind of an amazing show when the conditions are just right.
At over 3-feet in height, this fine plant produces big, showy, creamy-green flowers along a dense spike head. Eventually these flower heads will yield seed pods, with the entire plant (foliage and seeds alike) attracting deer and various birds. Although some other members of this genus are toxic to livestock, Canada milkvetch is palatable and can be grazed.
This species is also a caterpillar host plant for many (!) species of butterflies, including the Queen Alexandra’s sulphur (Colias alexandra), Afranius duskywing (Erynnis afranius), western tailed-blue (Cupido amyntula), marine blue (Leptotes marina), Acmon blue (Plebejus acmon), Shasta blue (Plebejus shasta), Reakirt’s blue (Echinargus isola), Melissa blue (Plebejus melissa), and various others.
While Canada milkvetch is adapted to the dry inland West, it does prefer a little bit soil moisture. Streambanks, wet meadows, irrigation sloughs, drainage areas, and the like are great. Canada milkvetch is also beautifully adapted to a wide gradient of elevations, soil types, and hardiness zones, making it a very flexible option for a whole bunch of different settings.
Approximately 400-500 seeds (1-gram).