Astragalus crassicarpus (Ground Plum) - photos and description




Looking straight down on flower spike

Looking straight down on flower spike



Fruit give rise to the plant's common name - Ground Plum

General: Many-stemmed plants with a procumbent growth habit. Foliage is bluish-green in colour. Stems pubescent.

Flowers: Flowers creamy-white with some purple colouring. Flowers to 2 cm long and grow in a globose spike.

Fruit: Fruit are large, roundish, red when ripe. Edible, taste to me like an apple. Fruit measured to 2 cm in length.

Leaves: Leaves are alternate, pinnate, we counted up to 29 leaflets, the leaflets elliptical to oblong in shape. We measured a leaf at 7.5 cm long and 2.5 cm wide. Bottom of leaves pubescent, top of leaves glabrous.

Height: Plant width in Flora of Alberta is listed as 70 cm, we measured plants to 48 cm diameter and 8 cm tall.

Habitat: Grassland on prairies and in the parklands.

Abundance: Common.

Origin: Native.

When and where photographed: Photos taken May 16th Buffalo Grass Eco Reserve about 200 km southeast of Regina, SK, May 18th prairie hillside, Qu'Appelle Valley about 80 km west of Regina, SK, May 20th prairie hilltop, Cypress Upland, about 500 km southwest of Regina, SK, and June 2nd, prairie hilltop, Old Man on His Back Eco Reserve, about 500 km southwest of our home in Regina, SK.