Common Name : European milkvetch
Habitat : Astragalus hamosus is native to Europe – Mediterranean to Armenia, Ukraine and the Caucasus. It grows on the dry grassland. Semidesert areas in foothills and the low montane belt, on clay, loess, sand and rock debris.
Astragalus hamosus is an annual herbiculas plant growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in). The lives in dry fields and meadows terofíticos . It branches from the base but branches are applied to the soil. The leaves have many leaflets , but less and are smaller than in Astragalus boeticus .
It is in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September.
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The flowers are white, are grouped at the end of a stalk . The fruits perfectly characterize this species as they are strongly curved, they are similar to some fishhooks. It blooms in the spring and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidIt is in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. optera.It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry soil.
Requires a dry well-drained soil in a sunny position. Grows well in Cornwall. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance and are best sown in situ. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby. When removing plant remains at the end of the growing season, it is best to only remove the aerial parts of the plant, leaving the roots in the ground to decay and release their nitrogen. Many members of this genus can be difficult to grow, this may be due partly to a lack of their specific bacterial associations in the soil.
Seed – sow late winter in a greenhouse. Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water. If any seed does not swell up in this time then carefully prick it with a needle making sure that you do not damage the embryo, and re-soak for a further 24 hours. Germination usually takes place within 3 – 6 weeks at 13°c. As soon as it is large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer.
Edible Uses: Young seedpods – cooked. They quickly become tough and fibrous. The young seedpods are also used in salads. They have only a mediocre taste, but look very much like certain worms and so are used mainly for their novelty value.
The plant is demulcent, emollient, galactogogue and laxative. It is useful in treating irritation of the mucous membranes, nervous affections and catarrh.
Known Hazards: Many members of this genus contain toxic glycosides. All species with edible seedpods can be distinguished by their fleshy round or oval seedpod that looks somewhat like a greengage. A number of species can also accumulate toxic levels of selenium when grown in soils that are relatively rich in that element.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.