Adesma-Leaf Milk-Vetch
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Adesma-Leaf Milk-Vetch
P Native Photo: N Arun Kumar
Common name: Adesma-Leaf Milk-Vetch
Botanical name: Astragalus hoffmeisteri    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Astragalus tsataensis, Astragalus adesmifolius, Tragacantha hoffmeisteri

Adesma-Leaf Milk-Vetch is a plant 30-70 cm tall, nearly hairless, with few mostly white hairs. Flowers are borne in racemes where are 4-10 cm at anthesis, very loosely 5-20-flowered, at fruiting time elongating to 14-22 cm. Petals are pale yellow, often with violet tip when dry, nearly all of same length; standard widely obovate, 8-11 x 5.5-7 mm, tip flat to slightly notched. Sepal-cup is 3.5-5 mm, hairless; teeth unequal, 1-2 mm, sparsely white hairy. Flower-cluster-stalk at anthesis 6-12 cm, later strongly elongating, hairless or sparsely hairy; bracts 1-2.5 mm, fringed with hairs. Stems are up to 5 mm thick, branched, hairless or at base loosely hairy. Leaves are compound, 4-13 cm. Stipules are 3-15 mm, semi-heart-shaped or obliquely ovate. Leaf-stalk is short, like axis hairless or sparsely hairy; leaflets in 15-20 pairs, widely obovate to inverted-heart-shaped, 1.5-7.5 x 1-8(-12) mm, hairless or below and margins sparsely hairy, tip flat to notched. Pods are with a stipe 5-8 mm, narrowly ellipsoid, 1.5-2.2 cm, 4-5.5 mm high, strongly compressed laterally, keeled ventrally, deeply grooved dorsally, nearly 1-locular, with a narrow septum; valves thin, hairless. Adesma-Leaf Milk-Vetch is found from Afghanistan to West Himalaya and Tibet, at altitudes of 2400-4600 m.

Identification credit: N Arun Kumar Photographed in Phyang, Ladakh.

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