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Canada Milk Vetch produces pagoda-like towers of cream coloured flowers in mid-summer and make an interesting addition to cut flower
arrangements. Growing in full sun, in well-drained soil, it is an important food source for songbirds as it holds its seed into
late fall and early winter. Astragalus canadensis also attracts hummingbirds, honeybees and butterflies, including the caterpillars of the
Western Tailed Blue butterfly.
Although generally not considered poisonous, caution is advised with any member of the Astragalus genus as they are known to
contain at least some level of toxic glycosides. Do not graze livestock in pastures with Canada Milk Vetch as
cattle fatalities have been reported after grazing in fields containing this plant.
Attracts Butterflies, Honeybees & Songbirds!
Makes Great Cut Flowers!
Cold, moist stratification. Start at least 5 weeks before outdoor night temperatures are reliably in the 10 C (50 F) range. Mix the seed with a slightly moistened,
sterile, soil-less growing mix. Put this in a labelled, sealed plastic bag and store in a refrigerator for one day. The next day place this in the freezer for one day.
Repeat this for one week, alternating between the fridge and the freezer. After stratifying, plant seed 0.32 cm (1/8 inch) deep in pots. Keep moist but not soggy and
very warm (21 C - 70 F). When seedlings are 5 cm (2 inches) tall or more, transplant into the garden spaced 30 cm (1 foot) apart.
Plant seed 0.32 cm (1/8 inch) deep in a prepared seed bed in late fall so that the seed overwinters and germinates naturally in spring.
In late fall through to mid-winter fill plastic pots with a slightly moistened, sterile, soil-less growing mix. Plant seed 0.32 cm (1/8 inch) deep in pots and label
the pots. Place them outdoors in an area where they will experience the snow and cold of winter. The seed will germinate in the pots in spring as the weather warms up.
Be sure to water the pots regularly in spring and once the plants are 5 cm (2 inches) tall, transplant them into your garden.