Astragalus membranaceus, Astragalus, Astragalus root, Huang-qi, membranous milkvetch, mo-jia huang-qi, huangqi, huang qi, 拉丁名, 英文名.

Images of Astraglus in flower, flowers with morning dew, seed pods, seed pods with morning frost, roots, and farming. Astragalus or huang qi, a member of the Pea Family (Fabaceae or Leguminosae), is native to northerrn Asia, cultivated elsewhere. The root is used, and is a famous tonic in traditional Chinese medicine, valued in the West as an immunostimulant. A 2003 paper by Ziang-yun Zhu published in the Nordic Journal of Botany (bet you have a copy sitting on your coffee table), is now listed on an on-line plant nomenclature database as Astragalus propinquus ( while another database (Kew Medicinal Plant Name Services) prefers Astragalus mongholicus as the "accepted" name. Since Astragalus membranaceus is the name widely used in the herbal and medicinal plant literature, for this important Chinese traditional medicine, we use it as the name of choice here. A complete explanation of the taxonomic puzzle for astragalus can be found in an excellent blog post at Botanical Accuracy. Here, botanists, Lena Struwe and Shen-hao Yao, explain that the current name should be Astragalus penduliflorus ssp. mongholicus var. dahuricus or Astragalus penduliflorus var. dahuricus. Fortunately for those of us who are consumers of taxonomy, in an update to the post, Struwe and Yao report that Astragalus membranaceus Fisch. ex Bunge has been proposed for "conservation" and that the proposal will be voted on at the International Botanical Congress in China in the Summer of 2017.

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