Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography


with 11 comments

Astragalus Flower Close 6837

Click for much larger size.

When I walked through the greenbelt on the north side of Old Lampasas Trail on March 24th I found what I think was a ground plum, Astragalus crassicarpus. The light was low, so you get this soft portrait of one of the plant’s flowers.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 19, 2014 at 6:04 AM

11 Responses

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  1. Frohe Ostern ♥ Mathilda


    April 19, 2014 at 6:34 AM

  2. Great shot, Steve. As always.


    April 19, 2014 at 7:22 AM

    • I wasn’t sure I liked this picture, but I went ahead and posted it. Thanks for your validation, Ken.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 19, 2014 at 7:41 AM

  3. Fascinating plant. With edible plums.


    April 19, 2014 at 7:56 AM

    • I know I’ve seen the fruits of this plant, but I don’t recall ever trying to eat any. I wondered just now if they’re even edible, so I searched and found this from wildseed.com: “Young seed pods are edible and the taste is reminiscent of snow peas! Native Americans and pioneers used these seed pods as a vegetable, and they may be eaten raw, cooked, or pickled. Dried roots were ground and applied to wounds to stop blood flow.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 19, 2014 at 8:15 AM

  4. Didn’t Virgil once say, “Sic itur ad astragalus”? No, of course he didn’t. I’ve learned not to trust my first, easy response, and so I learned that Astragalus is named not for the stars, but for the vertebra-like appearance of the flower clusters (astragalos).

    The photo’s beautiful and the plant’s medicinal qualities are quite interesting. Beside, anything that pulls Virgil out of my mental back closet on a Saturday morning is good.


    April 19, 2014 at 8:12 AM

    • As you were writing your comment, I was doing a little research on the edibility of this plant, the results of which I included in my response to the previous comment.

      I wasn’t familiar with Virgil’s version of that saying, but I remember the Latin adage “As astra per aspera,” “Through difficulties, to the stars.” Similarly, I found on Wikipedia that Seneca the Younger wrote “Non est ad astra mollis e terris via,” “There’s no easy way from the earth to the stars.” I’m glad to see that my time spent close to the earth (or at least the word atragalus) sent your thoughts starward.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 19, 2014 at 8:24 AM

  5. A beautiful fabaceae! Nice steven!


    April 19, 2014 at 11:55 PM

  6. […] the name Astragalus rings a bell, it could be because I recently showed photographs of a flower and some leaves of an Astragalus species found in […]

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