Of the 1o00 known species of Astragalus it possesses 800.
China has no Cistus or heath, only a single Ferula, while Astragalus is reduced to 35 species.
The western dry areas have the old-world leguminous Astragalus and Prosopis (Mesquit), but are especially characterized by the northward extension of the new-world tropical Cactaceae, Mgmmillaria, Cereus and Opuntia, by succulent Amar llideae such as A gave (of which the so-called American aloe is a type), and by arborescent Liliaceae (Yucca).
Prickly forms of Statice and Astragalus cover the dry hills.
The astragalus has a pulley-like surface above for articulation into the tibia, but its lower surface is flattened and unites to a much greater extent with the navicular than with the cuboid, which bone is of comparatively less importance than in the Artiodactyles.
The hind-foot is remarkable for the great backward projection of the calcaneum, and likewise for the peculiar shape of the astragalus; the middle toe alone carries a claw, this being of huge size, and ensheathed like those of the fore foot.
Upon the highest summits are found Saponaria Pumilio (resembling our Silene acaulis) and varieties of Galium, Euphorbia, Astragalus, Veronica, Jurinea, Festuca, Scrophularia, Geranium, Asphodeline, Allium, Asperula; and, on the margins of the snow fields, a Taraxacum and Ranunculus demissus.
In the fore-limb the upper and lower series of carpal bones scarcely alternate, but in the hindfootthe astragalus overlaps the cuboid, while the fibula, which is quite distinct from the tibia(as is the radius from the ulna in the fore-limb), articulates with both astragalus and calcaneum.
Lower articular surface of the astragalus divided into two nearly equal facets, one for the navicular and a second for the cuboid bone.
Besides the grasses there are leguminous plants valuable for pasture - Astragalus, Vicia (wild vetch), Lathyrus (wild pea) of which there are many species.
The hind-limbs are elongated, with four toes, of which the metatarsals are separate; the tibia and fibula are welded in old age; the calcaneum and astragalus of the tarsus are elongated; and there is a perforation on the inner side of the lower end of the humerus (see Jumping-Hare).
Although the brain is relatively larger, the bones of the limbs, especially the short, five-toed feet, approximate to those of the Amblypoda and Proboscidea; but in the articulation of the astragalus with both the navicular and cuboid Arsinoitherium is nearer the former than the latter group. It is probable, however, that these resemblances are mainly due to parallelism in development, and are in all three cases adaptations necessary to support the enormous weight of the body.
The articulation between the tibia and astragalus is more complex than in other mammals, the end of the malleolus entering into it.
The following, however, among others, are distributed throughout the whole, or a great part, of the range: Colchicum alpinum, Crocus vernus, Orchis globosa, Petrocallis pyrenaica, Astragalus depressus, A.
Aphylla, Astragalus leontinus, Daphne striata, Eryngium alpinum, Bupleurum stellatum, Androsace helvetica, A.
Five phanerogamous species only are to be found, the first three of which are peculiar to the mountain: Senecio Etnensis (which is found quite close to the crater), Anthemis Etnensis, Robertsia taraxacoides, Tanacetum vulgare and Astragalus siculus.
The leaves of barberry and of some species of Astragalus, and the stipules of the false acacia (Robinia) are spiny.
K., at 16,300; Phyllactis inconspicua, Wedd., at 16,600, Astragalus geminiflorus, H.
The walnut and oak (evergreen, holly-leaved and kermes) descend to the secondary heights, where they become mixed with alder, ash, khinjak, Arbor-vitae, juniper, with species of Astragalus, &c. Here also are Indigoferae and dwarf laburnum.
In the low brushwood scattered over portions of the dreary plains of the Kandahar table-lands, we find leguminous thorny plants of the papilionaceous sub-order, such as camel-thorn (Hedysarum Alhagi), Astragalus in several varieties, spiny rest-harrow (Ononis spinosa), the fibrous roots of which often serve as a tooth-brush; plants of the sub-order Mimosae, as the sensitive mimosa; a plant of the rue family, called by the natives lipdtd; the common wormwood; also certain orchids, and several species of Salsola.
Among the valuable vegetable products forming articles of export are various gums and dyes, the most important being gum tragacanth, which exudes from the astragalus plant in the hilly region from Kurdistan in the north-west to Kermn in the south-east.
Under the same name of gaz-angubin there are sold commonly in the Persian bazaars round cakes, of which a chief ingredient is a manna obtained to the south-west of Ispahan, in the month of August, by shaking the branches or scraping the stems of Astragalus florulentus and A.