Some plants are easy to find. Other plants require time, turnpike tolls, and chance encounters with botanists’ field notes in order to pinpoint their precise locations.
Buffalo Nut (Pyrularia pubera), an understory shrub with a rather bizarre lifestyle, falls into the latter category.
My first encounter with Buffalo Nut took place more than 5 years ago. Since that initial sighting, I had never seen the plant again.
A few weeks ago, I came across a list of plants that a few botanists had compiled regarding the flora of certain forests. One of those forests was located in the southwestern portion of the state, and one of the plants included on the list was the elusive Buffalo Nut.
Intrigued, I decided to plan a visit to this forest in search of Buffalo Nut, though because I was quite unfamiliar with the area, I knew that I’d be embarking on a small-scale adventure. What excited me the most was finding its fruits, because years ago when I first discovered the plant, I had only witnessed it in flower.
The trip was planned, though the questions remained. Would I find the fruits? Would I even find the plant? Why are turnpike tolls so expensive?
In the following video, I recount the story of my recent adventure in search of an unassuming denizen of the forest.