Astragalus bibullatus

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Pyne's ground plum
Astragalus bibullatus Kaldari 05.jpg
Conservation status

Critically Imperiled (NatureServe)[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Astragalus
Species: A. bibullatus
Binomial name
Astragalus bibullatus
Barneby & E.L.Bridges, 1987

Astragalus bibullatus (Pyne's ground plum) is an endangered species of flowering plant that is endemic to the cedar glades of the central basin of Tennessee. It is found in only three populations located within a few kilometers of each other in Rutherford County, Tennessee.

The common name refers to Milo Pyne, who discovered the species in the 1980s, and the odd-looking smooth, reddish fruits that ripen on the ground and look superficially like plums. However, the species is a legume and is unrelated to the plum. The foliage of A. bibullatus looks similar to the more widespread cedar glade endemic, A. tennesseensis. However, the flowers of A. bibullatus are pinkish purple in contrast to the white flowers of A. tennesseensis. The fruits are also quite different. A. tennesseensis fruits are greenish, hairy, and are more elongated as is more typical for legumes.

The flowers of A. bibullatus bloom in April and May, while the fruit ripens in May or June.

Threats[edit]

Because of the small number of populations, A. bibullatus is threatened by habitat destruction. One population is now protected in the Flat Rock Cedar Glade and Barrens State Natural Area.[2] Because there is very little genetic differentiation among populations,[3] further loss of genetic variability is not a threat.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Astragalus bibullatus". NatureServe Explorer. NatureServe. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  2. ^ "Flat Rock Cedar Glades and Barrens Class II Natural-Scientific State Natural Area". Division of Natural Areas. Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation. Retrieved September 12, 2012. 
  3. ^ Baskauf, C. J.; S. Snapp (1998). "Population genetics of the cedar glade endemic Astragalus bibullatus (Fabaceae) using isozymes". Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden (Missouri Botanical Garden Press) 85 (1): 90–96. doi:10.2307/2991999. JSTOR 2991999. 

References[edit]

  • Barneby, R. D. and E. L. Bridges (1987). A new species of Astragalus (Fabaceae) from Tennessee's Central Basin. Brittonia 39:358-363.
  • Morris, A. B., R. S. Baucom, and M. B. Cruzan. 2002. Stratified analysis of the soil seed bank in the cedar glade endemic Astragalus bibullatus: evidence for historical changes in genetic structure. American Journal of Botany 89: 29-36.

External links[edit]