Monday, April 2, 2007

The rarest wildflower in the world - in my backyard

Pyne's Ground Plum
(Astragalus bibullatus)

Found in just three locations in the world, all in Rutherford County TN, Pyne's Ground Plum gets it's name from the fruit it produces in late May to early June. The fruits turn a purplish color and are marble sized when mature. The fruit is more like a sugar snap pea than a plum. (No, I will not admit to tasting the forbidden fruit). Also known as Guthrie's Ground-Plum, this plant is a federally endangered species that exists in the cedar barren habitat near Murfreesboro, TN. It is totally illegal to pick this flower and it's fruit. The species was first recognized as a new species by biologist Milo Pyne (then Milo Guthrie) in 1988. Mid March to early April is the best time to see Pyne's Ground Plum in full bloom. I took the above photo on Saturday, March 31 on the state protected area along Factory Rd. in Murfreesboro, near Flat Rock Cedar Glades and Barrens State Natural Area.

Don't you just love spring?

(file photo of Pyne's Ground Plum Fruit)


Glenda said...

Very lovely!

Lesley said...

Oh my god, those are beautiful. I want one so bad! But I'm not willing to risk jailtime for picking a flower (only in America!).