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Astragalus



Astragalus

Astragalus centralpinus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Galegeae
Genus: Astragalus
L.
Species

See text.


Astragalus (As-trá-ga-lus) is a large genus of about 2,000 species of herbs and small shrubs, belonging to the legume family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. The genus is native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Common names include milk-vetch (most species) and goat's-thorn (A. gummifera, A. tragacanthus). Some pale-flowered vetches are similar in appearance, but vetches are more vine-like.

Additional recommended knowledge

Contents

Host for insects

Astragalus species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the following case-bearers of the genus Coleophora: C. astragalella (feeds exclusively on A. glycyphyllos), C. cartilaginella (feeds exclusively on Astragalus), C. colutella, C. euryaula (feeds exclusively on Astragalus), C. gallipennella (feeds exclusively on A. glycyphyllos), C. hippodromica (feeds exclusively on A. gombo), C. onobrychiella (feeds exclusively on Astragalus), C. polonicella (feeds exclusively on A. arenarius) and C. vicinella.

Medicinal use

Astragalus membranaceus has a history of use as an herbal medicine, and the biotechnology firms Geron Corporation and TA Sciences have been working on deriving a telomerase activator from it.

Ornamental use

Several species, including A. alpinus (bluish-purple flowers), A. hypoglottis (purple flowers) and A. lotoides, are grown as ornamental plants in gardens.

Selected species

(See external references)

  • Astragalus adsurgens - Standing milk-vetch
  • Astragalus agrestis - Field milk vetch
  • Astragalus alopecuroides
  • Astragalus alpinus - Alpine milk vetch
  • Astragalus angustifolius
  • Astragalus arenarius
  • Astragalus aristatus
  • Astragalus atropilosulus
  • Astragalus baionensis
  • Astragalus barrii - Barr's milk vetch
  • Astragalus bibullatus - Limestone-glade milk-vetch
  • Astragalus bisulcatus - Two-groove milk-vetch
  • Astragalus boeticus
  • Astragalus canadensis - Canadian milk-vetch
  • Astragalus centralpinus
  • Astragalus christianus
  • Astragalus cicer
  • Astragalus coccineus
  • Astragalus crassicarpus (caryocarpus) - Ground-plum, Buffalo Plum
  • Astragalus danicus
  • Astragalus depressus
  • Astragalus echinus
  • Astragalus eriocarpus
  • Astragalus exscapus
  • Astragalus frigidus
  • Astragalus galegiformis
  • Astragalus gilviflorus
  • Astragalus glycyphyllos
  • Astragalus gummifera
  • Astragalus hypoglottis
  • Astragalus lemmonii
  • Astragalus leontinus
  • Astragalus lusitanicus
  • Astragalus lotoides
  • Astragalus massiliensis
  • Astragalus membranaceus
  • Astragalus missouriensis
  • Astragalus monspessulanus
  • Astragalus newberryi
  • Astragalus norvegicus
  • Astragalus nuttallii
  • Astragalus onobrychis
  • Astragalus penduliflorus
  • Astragalus purshii
  • Astragalus sempervirens
  • Astragalus shinanensis
  • Astragalus shiroumaensis
  • Astragalus sirinicus
  • Astragalus spatulatus
  • Astragalus tennesseensis - Tennessee milk vetch
  • Astragalus trichopodus
  • Astragalus tridactylus
  • Astragalus tragacanthus

External references

  • Astragalus
  • Medicinal uses of Astragalus in Armenia
  • Astragalus Supplements
  • Astralagus information
  • Large list of species
 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Astragalus". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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