Astragalus cicer* (Cicer milkvetch)

Medium, long-lived perennial; spreading rhizomatous growth habit. Often used in hay and pasture with similar yields to alfalfa, although can be useful for reclamation and erosion control. Slow to establish, but competitive in mixes over time; persists under grazing. Fair drought tolerance, cold hardy, poor acid tolerance.

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Family: Fabaceae

Duration: Perennial, medium lived

Growth Habit: Forb

Native Status: Introduced

Growth Form: Rhizomatous

Mature Height: 12-36 in.

Bloom Color: White

Bloom Period: Early Summer

Annual Precipitation: 16-60 in.

Drought Tolerance: Medium

Shade Tolerance: None

Fire Resistance: Yes

Fire Tolerance: High

Nitrogen fixation: High

Bloat: Non-bloat


Coarse Texture: No

Medium Texture: Yes

Fine Texture: Yes

Salinity Tolerance: Medium

CaCO3 Tolerance: High

pH Range: 6.0-8.5


Seeds per Pound: 125,000

Seeding Rate: 20-25 lbs/acre

Season: Spring/Fall

Days to Germination: 10-14


Oxley - First cultivar of Cicer milkvetch to be released in Canada. Adapted to a wide range of soil textures but performs best on coarse textured soils. A very cold hardy, rhizomatous, fine stemmed cultivar that is persistent and remains green longer in the fall. (Released 1971, source of ecotype: former USSR)Source Identified selection out of Sherman/Gillman, OR counties.

Lutana - A very hardy, frost resistant cultivar which is well-adapted to high elevation sites. It is rhizomatous and is frequently used in reclamation seed mixtures. (Released 1970, source of ecotype: Sweden)

Monarch - Developed for its strong seedling emergence, quick establishment and forage yielding characteristics. It is cold hardy and well adapted to the northern and central Great Plains. (Released 1980, source of ecotype: synthetic clone)