Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Astragalus agrestis
cock's-head, field milk vetch, purple milk vetch

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; Yukon Territory to California, east across North America to Canada's Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Moist spots in sagebrush plains, and mountain meadows to alpine slopes.

Flowers: June-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bumblebees, bees, butterflies


Low, appressed-pubescent perennial with long rhizomes from a buried crown, the numerous stems slender, erect to decumbent, 1-3 dm. tall.


Leaves alternate, pinnate, 4-10 cm. long; leaflets 11-19, linear-lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, very shallowly notched, 1-2 cm. long; stipules linear to ovate.


Inflorescence of head-like racemes in the leaf axils, 7- to 20-flowered, 1.5-2.5 cm. broad and long; peduncles longer to shorter than the leaves; pedicles thick, 0.5 mm. long; calyx broadly tubular, about half the length of the corolla, the 5 teeth linear; corolla about 17 mm. long, purplish with whitish wings, the banner narrow, longer than the slender wings, which are 4 mm. longer than the keel; stamens 10.


Pod sessile, erect, ovoid, 1 cm. long, cordate in cross-section, 2-celled.

Accepted Name:
Astragalus agrestis Douglas ex G. Don
Publication: Gen. Hist. 2: 258. 1832.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Astragalus danicus Retz. var. dasyglottis (Fisch. ex DC.) B. Boivin
Astragalus dasyglottis Fisch. ex DC.
Astragalus goniatus Nutt. ex Torr. & A. Gray
Astragalus hypoglottis Hook., homonym (illegitimate)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Astragalus agrestis in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Astragalus agrestis checklist entry

OregonFlora: Astragalus agrestis information

E-Flora BC: Astragalus agrestis atlas page

CalPhotos: Astragalus agrestis photos

17 photographs:
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