Leguminous Beauty

With stunning foliage, gorgeous flowers, and an incredibly hardy disposition, it is rather peculiar that goat’s rue (Tephrosia virginiana –http://bit.ly/1sxtFBg) isn’t more popular as a garden species. A true testament to the resilience of prairie life, this wonderful legume is just about bulletproof once established. Its flowers are quite the spectacle for people and insects alike. With their cream colored upper petals juxtaposed against the deep lavender lower petals, all manner of insect pollinators will be flocking to this plant. Even when not in flower, the fuzzy foliage of this plant is sure to turn some heads. The fuzz is there to protect the plant against dry conditions. Populations growing in more arid regions farther west tend to be fuzzier than populations growing farther east. Being a legume, goat’s rue fixes nitrogen, making it a wonderfully functional addition to nutrient poor, sandy soils. Like many toxic plant species, scientists are looking at this plant for potential cancer treatments. Once established, goat’s rue does not like to be disturbed. It cannot be divided and will not survive transplanting. Choose a place for this species where it can flourish for years to come!

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