25. Astragalus lepsensis Bunge, Mém. Acad. Imp. Sci. Saint Pétersbourg, sér. 7. 11(16): 25. 1868.
天山黄耆 tian shan huang qi
Plants 25-45 cm tall. Stems ca. 3 mm thick at base, sparsely to loosely covered with ascending to spreading white hairs 0.3-1 mm. Leaves 7-14 cm; stipules 10-20 mm, ciliate; petiole short, rachis hairy like stem; leaflets in 5-8 pairs, narrowly ovate, 15-40 × 8-17 mm, abaxially gray-green with whitish midvein, subappressed hairy, adaxially dark green and glabrous. Racemes rather densely to loosely 10-20-flowered, 1-sided, 3-7 cm; peduncle 5-9 cm, appressed hairy; bracts green, narrowly elliptic, 7-11 mm, ciliate, apex acute. Bracteoles sometimes present, linear, 1-2 mm. Calyx shortly tubular, 8-9 mm, subglabrous or in upper part with short spreading black hairs; teeth nearly equal, narrowly triangular, 0.8-1 mm. Petals yellow; standard ovate to obovate, 20-21 × ca. 8 mm; wings 19-20 mm; keel 19-20 mm. Legumes with a stipe 6-7 mm, pendulous, narrowly ellipsoid, 1.5-2.4 cm, 6-7 mm wide and 4-5 mm high, with a beak ca. 2 mm; valves membranous, rather densely covered with very short white and black nearly appressed hairs.
Xerophytic scrub, coniferous forests, meadows, middle mountain and subalpine zones. Xinjiang [Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia].
The value of Astragalus lepsensis var. leduensis Y. H. Wu (Acta Bot. Yunnan. 20: 37. 1998) is uncertain because we have not seen any material. According to the description, it differs by its stipules 4-8 mm, leaflets sparsely hairy on both surfaces, bracts 4-7 mm, calyx 6-8 mm, and standard 15-17 mm.