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Cicer Milkvetch
(Astragalus cicer)

Cicer Milkvetch is a spreading, warm-season legume native to Eurasia, but well adapted to the western United States. Plants grow to 91 cm (36 in.) tall and spread to 3 m (10 ft.) with vigorous creeping rhizomes. The yellow flowers are pea-like and bloom in early summer. It is generally grown in the Rocky Mountain area from 610 to 2,440 m (2,000 to 8,000 ft.) and above 1,220 m (4,000 ft.) in the Pacific Northwest and Great Basin states. Cicer Milkvetch can tolerate a wide range of soils, but it prefers loams, sandy-loams and limestone soils.

Seed should be drilled to a depth of 0.6 to 2 cm (½ to ¾ in.). The seeding rate should be doubled for broadcast seeding and doubled again for critical area planting. The planting date should be prior to the moistest season, usually early spring. Cicer Milkvetch is used for high elevation meadows, irrigated pastures, and cover crop in orchards, windbreaks and restoration of big game ranges. It can be mixed with grasses to stabilize critical areas.



5 to 6 kg PLS /hectare
5 to 8 lbs. PLS/acre



130,000 per lb. (0.46 kg)



The Bridger, Montana, Plant Materials Center and the Wyoming Agricultural Science Center released Lutana cicer milkvetch in 1970. It was developed from PI66515, which was introduced from Sweden. Lutana is a ghizomatous, decumbent, frost-free variety adapted to high elevations. It is more frost and moisture tolerant than alfalfa. Lutana does well on mine reclamation sites and on varying elevations in Montana and Wyoming.


The USDA Agricultural Research Service released monarch Cicer Milkvetch in 1980. Monarch is a 40 clone synthetic cultivars with improved seedling emergence. Forage yields have been equal to or greater than Lutana's. The area of adaptation should be similar to that of Lutana.

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