Most of the Rocky Mountain and Great Plains states, plus Arizona and west Texas
Dry prairie, meadows, sagebrush, sandy locations
Pinnately compound (even), with 9 to 21 ovate or elliptic leaflets, each less than half an inch long
The leaves are the most distinctive element of astragalus missouriensis, being thick, oval, (often) bent along the axis and covered with long white hairs, so that the plant has an overall grey-green appearance. Hairs are appressed, lying close to the leaf surface. Flowers (3 to 10) grow at the end of short thick stems; they and the calyx tube also have a coating of white hairs. The petals range in color from blue to deep purple to (less commonly) very pale purple, with a white patch at the center. Flowers measure up to 1 inch in length.
The plant inhabits a wide range, from Canada to Texas and New Mexico, and four varieties are recognized (amphibolus, humistratus, mimetes and missouriensis).