Sunday, March 30, 2008

Time again for the rarest wildflower to bloom

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 - it is a federal crime). 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 Sunday, March 30 on the state protected area along Factory Rd. in Murfreesboro, near (but not at) Flat Rock Cedar Glades and Barrens State Natural Area.

Don't you just love spring?

(text from last year's post - pictures are new)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


It looks a bit like a gentian or an orchid. It's not related to the "lady slipper" is it?