Stems: finely glabrate, erect, branched. Leaves: leaflets linear, obtuse; stipules ovate, acute, foliaceous. Flowers: white, tinged with mauve in loose racemes; peduncles longer than the leaves; calyx blackish-pubescent, its teeth subulate. Fruit: pods semi-elliptic.

One of the least attractive of the Vetches. It has a long yellow root which is collected in the spring by the Stony and Cree Indians as an article of food. The leaves are whitish and rather silky, and the flowers are chiefly noticeable by reason of their dark-hued hairy calyx.

Astragalus tenellus, or Loose-flowered Milk Vetch, has ascending stems and thin oblong pale green leaflets, which are blunt at the apex and narrowed at the base. The flowers are yellowish-white, sometimes tinged with pink, and grow in loose spike-like racemes. The pod is stalked, papery and pointed at both ends.