Flowers of Flying Hat (5): Ground plum, not yummy

Yesterday evening as I came back a different path from the barn after feeding Star, I discovered this flowering plant, the Ground plum, milkvetch.  I spent over an hour perusing field books until I identified Ground plum.  I nailed the identification when I corroborated a field book description with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center website.  Depending upon the species of Astragalus, some members are poisonous, but this species is not.  Even so, Ground plum is not a yummy plant although its fragrance is lovely — somewhat spicy I believe.

5. Ground plum, milkvetch (Astragalus crassicarpus?). March 3, 2012, southeast second-level terrace. See: http://www.wildflower.org/gallery/result.php?id_image=9002; Wills and Irwin, p. 138, especially.

I discovered a new link for plants: University of Michigan-Dearborn Native American Ethnobotany.  You must check this out for medicinal uses of plants.

This medicinal use of plants starts me thinking.  I may set aside an area in the barn to harvest some of these plants.  I already have a request for bull nettle to be sent up to Wisconsin for an indoor greenhouse.  Don’t let the bull nettle go outside!

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14 Comments

Filed under Flowers of Flying Hat, Wild Flowers of Texas

14 responses to “Flowers of Flying Hat (5): Ground plum, not yummy

  1. One of the first plants to bloom in our Sandia Mountanes, Lousewort (common name) looks a lot like this. Inspired by your good research to do my own. I will be back. Has medicinal properties according to an interpreter I know.

  2. Rubia

    Jack, as soon as you figure out how to post scents on your blog, you must share the spicy scent of ground plum! I would love to smell it.

    • Oh, yes, I think the scent of flowers in the Spring is truly remarkable. Rubia, the spicy character of ground plum needs to be put in a bottle. Quite nice. Thank you for your comments. It adds up for a good contribution to the wildlife corridor.

  3. Interesting to see those blooming now: such a difference between our areas. Astragalus are a late summer flower here and we have quite a few species of it.

    Thanks for posting that link!

  4. Great link. Thank you.

    I have a little book, that covers the ethnobotany of the Putah and Cache Creeks eco-regions, the area where I currently live and the area inhabited by the River Patwin. They were hunter/gathers and most of them were were wiped out by a malaria outbreak in 1834. This was a region very rich in plant and animal life and we are lucky that many of the plants the native people used in their everyday life can still be easily found. Sorry I can’t say the same positive statement for the animals that once roamed this land.

  5. Kittie Howard

    Reading Annie’s comment above about animals lost, I am even more grateful for the work you do, Jack.

  6. Pingback: Broke Tree Corral antics and Flowers of Flying Hat (9): Blueish Ground plum | Sage to Meadow

  7. Pingback: Shame and Kisses: More Flowers of Flying Hat (12-13) | Sage to Meadow

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