Purple Pineapple

The Purple Pineapple has started to bloom! I have described this wonderful plant the purple pineapple before I even knew that others had called it that before me. And what an apt description of the Leavenworth’s Eryngo (Eryngium leavenworthii)!

In our field, it has just started to turn its signature color!

Leavenworth’s Eryngo (Eryngium leavenworthii) does not have data for Texas, but you can see from NatureServe that it is critically imperiled in Arkansas. So you may want to consider adding it to your wildflower garden to help it status in your area just in case.

A delightful splash of purple for any garden or in my case our prairie. Eryngo (as I usually call it) is a member of the Apiaceae (Carrot) family. With its sharp bristles, some may mistaken it for a thistle. It is annual and is easy to grow from seed so says Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.. 🙂 Leavenworth eryngo was named for its discoverer, Melines Conklin Leavenworth (1796-1862), an explorer, army surgeon, and botanist. However, that is silly to call him the discoverer considering Native Americans were here long before him.

On the shady side, I spotted an Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica).

The carpenter bee went around and around the flowers multiple times as I watched.

Do you see the blue anthers? This plant is just so full of wonderful colors. It provides for the insects this time of year when there are not many sources left in the fields. From bees, caterpillars, stink bugs and others will be clamoring to seek out this wonderful wildflower of late summer/fall!

Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know.


      1. I see from the Atlas maps that three other species of Eryngium are also found in AR, including two found in nearly every county. Maybe E. leavenworthii was never very common in the state. Maybe that one county has a specific transitional soil type not found in the rest of the state.

          1. Yes, that’s another possibility too. We are only looking at one point in time. Seeing an original range map if one exists would be helpful.

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