Syn.: Astragalus prunifer Rydb., Geoprumnon crassicarpum Rydb.
Family: Fabaceae Lindl.
Astragalus crassicarpus
Distribution: This species from the midwest of North America is found mainly on the east side of Rocky Mountains and the prairies. In the north you find it in prairie provinces of Canada and in the south to Texas and Louisiana, in the west to Montana and eastern Arizona and in the east to west Wisconsin and Arkansas. It occurs in 5 varieties.
Ecology: It grows in dry rocky terrain or in the prairie. It is also found in disturbed areas along roads and highways. It blooms from April to May.
Astragalus crassicarpus
Description: Perennial herb with trailing, mat-forming stems which are hairy; rootstock stout. Leaves are alternate, pinnately compound with 15–29 leaflets, elliptical to oblong, 8–15 mm long, hairy. Inflorescence is open raceme with 5–15 flowers, tubular calyx, hairy; corolla pinkish to purplish. Fruit is a globular legume, 15–25 mm across, fleshy and red when young, turning hard and brown with age; edible when young.
Threat and protection: Listed as endangered in the state of Wisconsin.
Notes: Fleshy pods of groundplum can be eaten fresh or cooked. The sweet, plum-like fruit has a watery, green pea flavour.
Astragalus crassicarpus
Astragalus crassicarpus
Astragalus crassicarpus
Astragalus crassicarpus
These images were taken in Canada, Alberta, Calgary, Confluence Park (spring 2013).