Groundplum milkvetch (Astragalus crassicarpus) var. crassicarpus
Groundplum Milkvetch Astragalus crassicarpus Nutt. var. crassicarpus (PEA FAMILY)
Groundplum milkvetch is a prostrate perennial with reddish, minutely hairy clustered stems 4-12 in. long. The alternate appressed-pilose leaves are pinnately compound with 15 to 23 leaflets 3/8-5/8 in. long. The inflorescence is a moderately dense raceme with light purple pealike flowers about 3/4 in. long. The legume is a plump, succulent, reddish-green pod about 3/4 in. in diameter. The fruit of groundplum milkvetch is edible either raw or cooked and can be made into spiced pickles. Care should be taken in eating members of the genus Astragalus since some, called "locos," are poisonous.