Astragalus bibullatus - Barneby & Bridges
Pyne's Ground-plum
Other English Common Names: Guthrie's Ground-plum, Limestone Glade Milkvetch
Other Common Names: limestone glade milkvetch
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Astragalus bibullatus Barneby & Bridges (TSN 192810)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.143330
Element Code: PDFAB0FB00
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Pea Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Fabales Fabaceae Astragalus
Check this box to expand all report sections:
Concept Reference
Help
Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Astragalus bibullatus
Conservation Status
Help

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1
Global Status Last Reviewed: 24Feb2006
Global Status Last Changed: 30Jun1988
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: Endemic to Tennessee's Central Basin where it is known from three extant populations. One population on private land is threatened with destruction and two historic populations are believed extirpated. The plant requires active management to limit encroachment of more competitive plants. Limestone glades in the Central Basin are located in the Metropolitan Nashville area and are rapidly being developed.

Nation: United States
National Status: N1

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Tennessee (S1)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LE: Listed endangered (26Sep1991)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R4 - Southeast

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Endemic to the Central Basin cedar glades of Tennessee in Rutherford County.

Number of Occurrences: 1 - 5
Number of Occurrences Comments: Three populations with one threatened.

Population Size Comments: Largest population with more than 1,000 plants.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very few (1-3)

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: The foreseeable threat with the greatest impact is limestone glade habitat degradation and loss from development and land clearing. Additional significant threats to the species are, highway right-of-way maintenance, off-road vehicle traffic, trash dumping, livestock grazing and encroachment of more competitive herbaceous and woody plants. Active management to reduce competing vegetation is required to ensure the survival of the species. Collecting could also be a threat (USFWS 1991). Herbivory of the pods has not been observed; seeds appear to be transported by rainfall or mowing/management activities. The seeds probably do not travel far from the original pods before germination.

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: The species is endemic to the Central Basin of Tennessee. Propagation of seedlings ex-situ has been successful at the Missouri Botanical Garden. These propagated plants have been outplanted in natural habitat in Tennessee with minimal success, but a few plants have been reproductive (McCue et al. 2001). A. bibullatus is restricted to three natural populations (8 sites) in one county; one population on private property is severely threatened. There is a high probability that no new natural sites will be found.

Long-term Trend: Decline of 10-90%
Long-term Trend Comments: Two populations of Astragalus bibullatus (collected in 1901 and 1948 respectively) are believed to have been extirpated (USFWS 1991).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
Help
Global Range: Endemic to the Central Basin cedar glades of Tennessee in Rutherford County.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States TN

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
TN Davidson (47037), Rutherford (47149)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
05 Stones (05130203)+, Harpeth (05130204)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Help
Basic Description: A low perennial herb with a stout taproot bearing 5-10 simple, glabrous, slender stems, 5-15 cm long. Leaves are alternate and pinnately compound with small leaflets. Flowering stems are 5-8 cm long, ascending with purple, pea-shaped flowers in compact clusters of 10-16 and blooming in April and May. Fruits are plump, fleshy globe shaped pods that ripen in May and lie on the ground, becoming red on the side facing the sun and yellow on the bottom. In the summer, the pods dry to stiff, 2-valved papery pods with flattened small dull black seeds (Somers and Gunn 1990).

General Description: Plant a low perennial herb bearing several simple, slender stems from a stout taproot, giving the plant a tuftlike appearance, 10-30 cm (or more) across. Leaves alternate, pinnately compound, each with 19-27 elliptic to elliptic-obovate leaflets. Flowers purple, resembling thin pea flowers, borne 10-16 on compact, minutely hairy racemes which arise from the middle of the stems or beyond. Fruits plump, fleshy pods. The fruits lie on the ground as they ripen, becoming red on the side facing the sun and yellow on the bottom, ultimately becoming dry, papery, and grayish- brown. Seeds shiny black, round, and flattened.
Technical Description: Plant a low perennial herb bearing several simple, slender stems from a stout taproot, giving the plant a tuftlike appearance, 10-30 cm (or more) across. Stems smooth, 5-15 cm long, with 5-10 leaves each; flowering stems 5-8 cm long, ascending while in bloom, bent to the ground when laden with fruit. Leaves alternate, pinnately compound, each with 19-27 elliptic to elliptic-obovate leaflets, hairless to the unaided eye; bearing thin, somewhat sheathing, leaflike appendages at the leaf bases. Flowers purple, resembling thin pea flowers, borne 10-16 on compact, minutely hairy racemes which arise from the middle of the stems or beyond. Fruits plump, fleshy pods, from slightly- flattened-globe-shaped to oblong-elliptical, about 1.5-2.5 cm long by 1.2-1.8 cm wide, rounded at the end and terminating in a tiny (about 1 mm long) cone-shaped tip. The fruits lie on the ground as they ripen, becoming red on the side facing the sun and yellow on the bottom, ultimately becoming dry, papery, and grayish-brown when seeds are mature but retaining their characteristic shape; seeds shiny black, round, and flattened.
Diagnostic Characteristics: The plant closely resembles Astragalus tennesseensis, which has hairy stems and leaves and pale yellow flowers and is restricted to the Interior Low Plateau. However, the fruit of A. bibullatus is a short-elliptic, plum-like pod, drying into two papery halves (the fruit resembles those of its close relatives in Missouri and westward); in contrast to A. tennesseensis fruit that are hairy, yellow to brown, banana-shaped, and spongy when dried in the summer. Both species co-occur at the A. bibullatus sites (Pyne et al. 1995).

Terrestrial Habitat(s): Barrens, Forest Edge, Forest/Woodland
Habitat Comments: Limestone cedar glade ecosystems in the Middle Tennessee Central Basin. The plants are associated with Lebanon limestone and occur in transitional areas or glade margins where the soils are deeper (5-15 cm) and there is partial shade from shrubs and small trees. Environmental conditions in limestone glades are extreme - wet in the spring and very dry in the summer.

Economic Attributes
Help
Economically Important Genus: Y
Management Summary
Help
Stewardship Overview: A. bibullatus does not compete well with woody species. Bushhogging and selective manual thinning has occurred at some sites and has proven to be beneficial in reducing competition and increasing suitable habitat. It is important to work with landowners to eliminate trash dumping and disturbance. A few of the sites are old dumps and the remaining trash needs to be removed.


Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
Help
Population/Occurrence Viability
Help
Excellent Viability: An A-ranked occurrence of Astragalus bibullatus is a site containing greater than 500 reproductive plants with minimal habitat disturbance in pristine conditions.

Good Viability: A B-ranked occurrence of Astragalus bibullatus is a site containing 200-500 plants with at least half of the plants reproductive and with minimal habitat disturbance in pristine conditions. May be restorable to an A-rank.

Fair Viability: A C-ranked occurrence of Astragalus bibullatus is a site containing 50-200 plants with at least one-third of the plants reproductive. May be restorable to a B-rank.

Poor Viability: A D-ranked occurrence of Astragalus bibullatus is a site containing less than 50 plants with degraded or pristine habitat.

Justification: The rank specifications for Astragalus bibullatus are based on mapped occurrences and expert opinion. The two primary factors are number of plants and a percentage of reproductive individuals and condition of the habitat.

Key for Ranking Species Element Occurrences Using the Generic Approach (2008).
Date: 24Feb2006
Author: A. Bishop
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
Help
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 24Feb2006
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: A. Bishop
Management Information Edition Date: 24Feb2006
Management Information Edition Author: A. Bishop
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Original not dated; revised A. Bishop (2006)

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Barneby, R.C., and E.L. Bridges. 1987. A new species of Astragalus (Fabaceae) from Tennessee's Central Basin. Brittonia. 39(3):358-363.

  • Isely, D. 1990. Vascular flora of the southeastern United States. Vol. 3, Part 2. Leguminosae (Fabaceae). Univ. North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill. 258 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • McCue, K. E. Belt, M. Yurlina. 2001. Propagation protocol for Astragalus bibullatus. Native Plants Journal, Vol. 2(2).

  • Pyne, M., M. Gay, and A. Shea. 1995. Guide to rare plants - Tennessee Division of Forestry District 5. Tennessee Dept. Agriculture, Division of Forestry, Nashville.

  • Somers, P. and S. Gunn. 1990. Status report for Astragalus bibullatus (Barneby & Bridges). Unpublished manuscript for USFWS. Jackson, MS.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1990. Proposed endangered status for the plant Astragalus bibullatus (Guthrie's ground-plum). Federal Register 55(196): 41245-41248.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1991. Astragalus bibullatus (Guthrie's ground-plum) determined to be Endangered. Federal Register 56(187): 48748-48751.

Use Guidelines & Citation

Use Guidelines and Citation

The Small Print: Trademark, Copyright, Citation Guidelines, Restrictions on Use, and Information Disclaimer.

Note: All species and ecological community data presented in NatureServe Explorer at http://explorer.natureserve.org were updated to be current with NatureServe's central databases as of March 2018.
Note: This report was printed on

Trademark Notice: "NatureServe", NatureServe Explorer, The NatureServe logo, and all other names of NatureServe programs referenced herein are trademarks of NatureServe. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2018 NatureServe, 4600 N. Fairfax Dr., 7th Floor, Arlington Virginia 22203, U.S.A. All Rights Reserved. Each document delivered from this server or web site may contain other proprietary notices and copyright information relating to that document. The following citation should be used in any published materials which reference the web site.

Citation for data on website including State Distribution, Watershed, and Reptile Range maps:
NatureServe. 2018. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

Restrictions on Use: Permission to use, copy and distribute documents delivered from this server is hereby granted under the following conditions:
  1. The above copyright notice must appear in all copies;
  2. Any use of the documents available from this server must be for informational purposes only and in no instance for commercial purposes;
  3. Some data may be downloaded to files and altered in format for analytical purposes, however the data should still be referenced using the citation above;
  4. No graphics available from this server can be used, copied or distributed separate from the accompanying text. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved by NatureServe. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by implication, estoppel, or otherwise any license or right under any trademark of NatureServe. No trademark owned by NatureServe may be used in advertising or promotion pertaining to the distribution of documents delivered from this server without specific advance permission from NatureServe. Except as expressly provided above, nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license or right under any NatureServe copyright.
Information Warranty Disclaimer: All documents and related graphics provided by this server and any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server are provided "as is" without warranty as to the currentness, completeness, or accuracy of any specific data. NatureServe hereby disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to any documents provided by this server or any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, including but not limited to all implied warranties and conditions of merchantibility, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. NatureServe makes no representations about the suitability of the information delivered from this server or any other documents that are referenced to or linked to this server. In no event shall NatureServe be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, consequential damages, or for damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information contained in any documents provided by this server or in any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, under any theory of liability used. NatureServe may update or make changes to the documents provided by this server at any time without notice; however, NatureServe makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. Since the data in the central databases are continually being updated, it is advisable to refresh data retrieved at least once a year after its receipt. The data provided is for planning, assessment, and informational purposes. Site specific projects or activities should be reviewed for potential environmental impacts with appropriate regulatory agencies. If ground-disturbing activities are proposed on a site, the appropriate state natural heritage program(s) or conservation data center can be contacted for a site-specific review of the project area (see Visit Local Programs).

Feedback Request: NatureServe encourages users to let us know of any errors or significant omissions that you find in the data through (see Contact Us). Your comments will be very valuable in improving the overall quality of our databases for the benefit of all users.