Astragalus is a genus of more than 3, 000 species of small shrubs and herbs that belong to the Fabaceae (pea) family and the Faboideae subfamily.
It is the largest plant genus in the Fabaceae family in terms of the species described. Astragalus is known by the common names such as locoweed (some species in North America), milkvetch (most species), and goat thorn (Astragalus gummifer and Astragalus tragacantha).
Astragalus is a perennial herbaceous plant about 16 to 36 inches tall and native to eastern and northern China, Korea, and Mongolia. Astragalus species include shrubs and herbs with pinnate leaves.
The flowers are formed in clusters; each flower is typical of the Fabaceae family, with 3 types of petals: keel, wings, and banner. The pea-like flowers can be white, pink, pale blue, or purple.