Photo copyright Ripley Farm. Used with permission.
Chinese Milk Vetch Astragalus
Astragalus membranaceus 18-36" tall. Important Chinese medicinal known as huang qi in China.
Deep-rooted leguminous plant forms an upright bush with many stems, each thickly covered with tiny pinnate leaves and small arching racemes bearing rows of whitish-yellow flowers.
When used over many months, is known to rebuild the immune system while combating exhaustion. Long-term tonic use is believed to increase stamina and improve resistance to cold temperatures. Harvest 4- to 6-year-old roots in fall.
Plant in full sun, 12" apart in deep gravelly well-drained soil. MOFGA-certified organic, grown at Ripley Farm. Z4. Maine Grown. (bare-root crowns)
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These plants have long histories of traditional medicinal use. It’s up to you to educate yourself about the safety and efficacy of using plants for medicinal purposes. The statements in our catalog regarding traditional medicinal uses of plants have not been evaluated by the FDA. The plants we sell are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Plants may take a year or more to establish before they flower; roots often take several years to reach harvestable maturity.
When you receive your order, open the bags and check the stock. Roots and crowns should be firm and pliable. If they are slightly dry, add a little water or, if they are going to be potted up soon, wet the roots. Generally, a little surface mold is harmless and will not affect the plant’s future performance. If you cannot pot them up immediately, store them in a cool (35–40°) location for a short time.
Do not plant bare-root perennial plant crowns directly outdoors.
Pot up the rootstock using well-drained potting mix in a deep 6" pot or a 1-gallon container. Avoid coiling the roots in under-sized containers. Grow newly potted perennials for a few weeks in a protected location in indirect light at 50–60°. Wet and/or cold conditions for an extended period may cause rotting. Transplant outside once they show some top growth and the danger of frost has passed.