Fabaceae / Pea
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Lore: Some members of the Astragalusgenus are known as "Locoweeds" due to the fact that they accumulate selenium which causes livestock that eat the plant to go loco or run about aimlessly in an excited fashion.
Similar Species: Astragalus canadensis, or Rattle Vetch is
fairly common throughout most of eastern North America at least as far south as Georgia. It is an erect plant reaching
over a meter (39") in height. The leaves are larger with leaflets up to 5cm (2") long. Bearded Milkvetch (A. villosus)
or has a silvery flower is found from Tennessee south. The extremely rare Pyne's Ground-plum,
Astragalus bibullatus is found in one Tennessee county.
One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.
This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.
Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Dicots / Two Seed Leaves