Skip to main content

For Your Garden - August 2020

Native plants provide beauty as well as food and shelter for wildlife. Native species are adapted to the Illinois climate. They require little or no watering and are resistant to drought, insects and most diseases. Because they are perennials, you can welcome their presence year after year.

Canada milk vetch (Astragalus canadensis)
Photo © John Hilty

Canada milk vetch is a perennial herb. Its pinnately compound leaves have small, oval leaflets in seven to 15 pairs. Leaves are arranged alternately along the stems. The five‐petaled, pealike flowers are pale yellow or white. The fruit is a pod that contains seeds. This plant grows to about four feet in height. Canada milk vetch may be found throughout Illinois. It grows in prairies and thickets. Flowers are produced from June through August. It is a good species for pollinators.

Classification and taxonomy are based on Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 2014. Vascular flora of Illinois: A field guide. Fourth edition. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale. 536 pp.

Illinois Range

Native Plant Information

For more information about Illinois native plants, visit our Native Habitat Descriptions, Requirements, and Plant Lists page. The following publications are available from the IDNR on our publications page.


Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae

Illinois Status: common, native