Description from Flora of China
Astragalus borealimongolicus Y. Z. Zhao; A. membranaceus Bunge (1868), not Moench (1794); A. membranaceus var. mongholicus (Bunge) P. K. Hsiao; A. mongholicus var. dahuricus (Candolle) Podlech; A. penduliflorus Lamarck var. membranaceus Glehn; A. propinquus Schischkin; A. purdomii N. D. Simpson; Phaca abbreviata Ledebour; P. alpina Linnaeus var. dahurica Candolle; P. macrostachys Turczaninow.
Plants 25-60 cm tall, covered with hairs 1-1.5(-2) mm. Stems at base 2.5-3 mm thick, glabrous or sparsely to rarely loosely covered with ± spreading white hairs up to 2 mm and with mostly shorter more appressed hairs. Leaves 6-15 cm, nearly sessile; stipules narrowly to very narrowly triangular, lower ones 8-10 mm, upper ones 4-5 mm, glabrous or ciliate; rachis sparsely to loosely appressed to spreading hairy; leaflets in 8-12 pairs, narrowly ovate to narrowly elliptic, 5-22 × 3-11 mm, glabrous or on midvein abaxially and margins with nearly spreading hairs, apex widely rounded to shallowly emarginate. Racemes loosely many flowered, 4-5 cm, at fruiting time strongly elongated to 9-14 cm; peduncle 7-13 cm, sparsely white hairy; bracts greenish to whitish, narrowly triangular to linear, 3-6 mm, white and black hairy. Bracteoles sometimes present, whitish, linear, ca. 0.5 mm. Calyx campanulate-tubular, 5-9 mm, glabrous or sparsely covered with short ascending black hairs; teeth sometimes also with longer white hairs 0.5-1.5 mm. Petals yellow, rarely lilac; standard widely elliptic, 13-20 × 7-9 mm; wings 12-17 mm; keel 11-16 mm. Legumes with a slender stipe 6-9(-15) mm, obliquely ellipsoid to nearly semicircular as seen from side, with strongly curved dorsal side and slightly curved to nearly straight ventral side, 2-3 cm, 8-12 mm high and 3-4 mm wide, sharply keeled ventrally, narrowly rounded dorsally, apex shortly acuminate; valves membranous, glabrous or loosely covered with very short appressed black or more rarely white hairs.
Steppes, meadows, xerophytic shrubs, coniferous forests, montane zone; 800-2000 m. Gansu, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Nei Mongol, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Xizang [Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia (Far East, Siberia)].