Arctic Milk-Vetch
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Arctic Milk-Vetch
ative Photo: Krishan Lal
Common name: Arctic Milk-Vetch, pallid milkvetch
Botanical name: Astragalus frigidus    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Astragalus kolaensis, Phaca frigida

Arctic Milk-Vetch is an erect, hairless, herb, 1-2 ft tall. Leaves are compound, about 10-15 cm long, leaflets 9-15, 2-4 cm long, oblong. Stipules are about 1.2-2.4 cm long, free. Flowers are borne stalked racemes in leaf axils. Flower-stalks are about 2-4.5 mm long, black pubescent. Calyx is about 9-10 mm long, covered with black hairs, teeth about 1 mm or smaller. Flowers are bright yellow. Vexillum is about 1.8-2 cm long, longer than wings and keel, hairless. Fruit is about 2.5-2.6 cm long, velvet-hairy, 1-celled, about 6-8-seeded, beaked. Arctic Milk-Vetch is found in the Himalayas from Kashmir to Lahaul, China, Russia, Balkan Peninsula, Asia Minor, Europe, USA, at altitudes up to 4100 m. Flowering: July-September.

Identification credit: Krishan Lal, Lal Bahadur Shastri Photographed in Bhratapur, Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh.

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