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Astragalus crassicarpus var. trichocalyx

Astragalus crassicarpus Nutt. var. trichocalyx (Nutt.) Barneby

Groundplum Milkvetch, Ozark Groundplum

Fabaceae (Pea family)

Synonym(s): Astragalus mexicanus var. trichocalyx, Astragalus trichocalyx


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

"Commonly taller and coarser than the preceding varieties, more rarely quite slender and decumbent, except for the calyces and pedicels thinly strigulose-pilosulous with loosely ascending or subappressed hairs up to 0.5-0.9 (1) mm. long, the stems glabrous or nearly so toward the base, the herbage green, or grayish only in youth, the leaflets either glabrous or thinly pubescent above." (bibref: 1814).

"The Ozark ground-plum, A. c. var. trichocalyx, is ordinarily very distinct because of its coarse ascending stems and its villous-tomentulose calyx and pedicels. The pubescence is fugacious, however, for the calyx is deciduous by circumscissile fission above the disc, and the pedicels become glabrate as they thicken and elongate beneath the ripening fruit. The petals are commonly ochroleucous, but not rarely suffused with pinkish-lilac. Slender forms with decumbent stems (Waterfall 9365, OKLA, SMU) are occasionally met with, and in these the fruits are humistrate as in other forms of A. crassicarpus. The pod is ordinarily large, 2.5 cm. long or longer and at least 1.5 cm. in diameter, but it is sometimes no larger than that of var. crassicarpus and is exactly like the commonest type of A. c. var. Berlandieri. Possibly the fruits of A. c. var. trichocalyx persist longer on the receptacle than in other forms of the species, but too little material with truly ripe pods has been seen to settle this interesting point.." (bibref: 1814).


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Fruit Type: Legume
Leaf: "Leaves (5) 7-18 cm. long, with 21-33 elliptic or lance-elliptic and acute or subacute, or sometimes all broadly oval or lance-oblong and obtuse, or (especially in some lower leaves) truncate-emarginate leaflets (4) 7-24 mm. long." (bibref: 1814).
Flower: "Peduncles usually erect or incurved-ascending; pedicels 4-7.5 mm. long in fruit; calyx (6.6) 8.3-11 mm. long, the pallid tube (5.2) 6-8.1 mm. long, (2.7) 3.5-5 mm. in diameter, the teeth (1.4) 1.9-3.3 mm. long; banner (16) 17.8-24.5 mm. long, 7.4-10.8 mm. wide; wings (14.2) 16-19 mm. long, the claws 7-9.5 mm., the blades (8.4) 9-11.5 mm. long, 2.4-4 (4.4) mm. wide; keel (12.2) 13.7-17.4 mm. long, the claws (6.5) 7.3-9.4 mm., the blades (6.3) 6.5-8.3 mm. long, 3.2-3.8 mm. wide." (bibref: 1814).
Fruit: "Pod (only rarely humistrate) broadly oblong-ellipsoid, plumply ovoid, plumply obovoid, or globose, 13.5-2.1 cm. in diameter; ovules 48-77. The fruit ripening in midsummer or later." (bibref: 1814).

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Yellow , Purple , Violet
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul
Bloom Notes: "Petals are commonly ochroleucous, but not rarely suffused with pinkish-lilac. Rarely flowering again in fall." (bibref: 1814).


USA: AR , IL , KS , LA , MO , OK , TX
Native Distribution: "Scattered but sometimes locally plentiful, northeastern Texas and eastern Oklahoma, east into western Arkansas, and through Missouri into westcentral Illinois." (bibref: 1814).
Native Habitat: "Open rocky woodlands and coming out onto the edge of prairies, pastures, and along roadsides, mostly below 1400 feet." (bibref: 1814).


Bibref 1814 - Atlas of North American Astragalus Volume 2 (1964) Barneby, Rupert C.

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Additional resources

USDA: Find Astragalus crassicarpus var. trichocalyx in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Astragalus crassicarpus var. trichocalyx in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Astragalus crassicarpus var. trichocalyx


Record Modified: 2020-12-07
Research By: Joseph A. Marcus

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