Snow Milk-Vetch
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Snow Milk-Vetch
ative Photo: Krishan Lal
Common name: Snow Milk-Vetch
Botanical name: Astragalus nivalis    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Astragalus orthanthus, Astragalus nathaliae, Astragalus orthanthoides

Snow Milk-Vetch is a perennial her with erect stem white velvety. Leaves are compound, about 2-5 cm long, velvety. Leaflets are 11-17, about 2-5 mm long, oval to rotund-oval, rarely oblong-oval, covered with prostrate hairs. Stipules are about 3-6 mm, fused, encircling the stem. Inflorescence is 6-20 flowered, stalked dense raceme. Stalk is about 2.5-5.2 cm long. Bracts about 2-3 mm long, white and black pubescent. Flower-stalks are very short. Sepal cup is 0.8-1 cm long in flowers, about 1-1.2 cm long and spherical oval in fruit, densely velvety, hairs white and black, teeth about 1 mm long. Flowers are violet. Standard petal is about 1.5-1.8 cm long. Wing about 1.5-1.7 cm long. Keel about 1.4-1.6 cm long. Fruit is about 5-10 mm long, about 3.5 mm broad, white and black-pubescent, stipe less than 1 mm long. Snow Milk-Vetch is found in Kashmir, W. Himalayas, Tibet, Russia. Fl.Per.: June-August.

Identification credit: Krishan Lal
Photographed in Lahaul Spiti, Himachal Pradesh.
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