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Content tagged with "legume"

Photo of an eastern redbud tree in bloom

Eastern Redbud

Eastern redbud is a favorite small, spring-flowering landscaping tree. In fall the leaves turn yellow or greenish yellow. Many people find the pods attractive as well.

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Photo of eastern redbud blossoms

Eastern Redbud

Eastern redbud is a native shrub or small tree that is distinctly ornamental in spring with small, clustered, rose-purple flowers covering the bare branches before the leaves. MDC’s State Nursery offers a variety of native seedlings for sale, such as the eastern redbud, for reforestation, windbreaks, erosion control, and wildlife food and cover.

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Photo of an eastern redbud tree branch covered in rose-purple blossoms

Eastern Redbud (Flowers)

In spring, redbud’s clusters of small, rose-purple flowers cover the bare branches. It blooms in late March to early May. Note that the petals of the flowers are in the typical pea-family configuration. The flowers are edible and can be eaten in salads, either raw or pickled; in Mexico, they are fried.

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Photo of everlasting pea flowers

Everlasting Pea (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Lathyrus latifolius
This pretty, long-blooming, pink-flowered sweet pea is a native of the Old World. An old-fashioned garden plant your grandma might have grown on a fence, everlasting pea often persists at old homesites.

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French Grass

Orbexilum onobrychis (formerly Psoralea onobrychis)
Looking absolutely nothing like a grass, French grass, a legume, bears upright spikes of pale purple flowers on long stems from the leaf axils. The leaves are trifoliate, resembling those of soybeans.

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Photo of goat's rue showing flower cluster

Goat’s Rue (Hoary Pea)

Tephrosia virginiana
Two-colored flowers of pink and light yellow make goat's rue easy to identify. Look for this legume in rocky, open woods, savannas, prairies, glades, and fields.

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Photo of goat's rue showing flower cluster

Goat’s Rue (Hoary Pea)

Two-colored flowers of pink and light yellow make goat’s rue easy to identify. Look for this legume in rocky, open woods, savannas, prairies, glades, and fields.

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Photo of ground plum flower cluster with some leaves.

Ground Plum (Flowers)

Ground plum’s short, spikelike clusters of flowers can be white, cream, yellow, pink, or violet. These flowers, whose structure is so obviously of the pea family, show that ground plum is not at all a true plum. Plums (like apples, peaches, and cherries) are in the rose family, and their blossoms have a very different structure. Confusing, fanciful mix-ups in common names are one reason botanists prefer to use scientific names.

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Photo of ground plum plant showing several of its round plumlike legume fruits.

Ground Plum (Fruits)

The fruits of ground plum are nearly ball-shaped, with a central ridge, and with a sharp, beaklike point; they are smooth and about ¾ inch wide. The round, two-parted, cherrylike fruits (which are technically legumes, like peas) are succulent and sweet when young and can be eaten raw or boiled. Because there is a potential for loco poisoning (neurological damage that is not reversible), eating large quantities is not advised.

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Photo of ground plum, top of plant, showing flowers and several leaves.

Ground Plum (Milk Vetch; Buffalo Pea)

Astragalus crassicarpus (formerly A. mexicanus)
Ground plum is a legume that bears plumlike, edible fruits. Its short, spikelike clusters of pea flowers can be white, cream, yellow, pink, or violet.

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