prairie turnip

(Pediomelum esculentum)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

prairie turnip

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

 

Habitat

Dry. Undisturbed prairies.

Flowering

May to July

Flower Color

Blue

Height

4 to 16


Identification

This is a 4 to 16 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on 1 to 3 stems from a spindle-shaped or round, tuberous-thickened, deep, edible root.

The stems are erect or ascending, often zigzagged, and much branched. They are densely covered with conspicuous, spreading hairs.

The leaves are alternate and are palmately divided into 5 leaflets. They are on hairy leaf stalks, the larger leaves on stalks 1½ to 4 long.

The leaflets are narrowly inversely egg-shaped or oblong to inversely lance-shaped and are folded along the midrib. They are ¾ to 1½ long and up to about ½ to ¾ wide when flattened. The upper surface is mostly hairless. The lower surface is densely covered with long, soft, silky, appressed, white hairs.

The inflorescence is a dense, leafy, cone-shaped spike 1 to 3 long and about 1 wide rising on a stout stalk from the upper leaf axils.

The flowers are to ¾ wide and pea-like, with 5 petals organized into a broad banner at the top, 2 narrow wings, and a keel in the center formed by two petals fused together at the tip. The petals are blue.

The fruit is a densely hairy, egg-shaped pod with a beak obviously longer than the pod. It contains a single seed.

 
Similar
Species

 


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Fabaceae (pea)

 

Subfamily:

Faboideae (Papilionoideae)

 

Tribe:

Psoraleeae

 
Synonyms

Lotodes esculentum

Psoralea brachiata

Psoralea esculenta

 
Common
Names

breadroot

breadroot scurfpea

breadroot scurf-pea

Indian breadroot

Indian turnip

large Indian breadroot

prairie apple

prairie potato

prairie turnip

prairie-turnip

shaggy prairie-turnip


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Axil

The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.

 

Palmate

Similar to a hand. Having more than three lobes or leaflets that radiate from a single point at the base of the leaf.

 

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

       

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Plant

  prairie turnip   prairie turnip
       

Inflorescence

  prairie turnip   prairie turnip
       
  prairie turnip    
       

Leaves

  prairie turnip    
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
  Pediomelum esculentum
Matt Lavin
 
  Pediomelum esculentum  
 
About

Native perennial herb, stems erect, highly branched, up to 20 cm tall, herbage glandular punctate but this obscured by hirsute vestiture, flower with sepals 5-7 mm long that continue to elongate during fruit development, pods with 1 seed, inconspicuous and concealed by the calyx, common at lower elevations in grasslands and sagebrush steppe especially in the eastern half of Montana, abundant in rangeland is well managed.

 
     

 

slideshow

     

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Other Videos

 
  Man vs. Wild - Yum! Prairie Turnip!
Discovery
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Oct 21, 2008

Check out Bear's Ten SCARY SURVIVAL moments: http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/man-vs-wild-scary-survival-moments/?smid=YTDSC-YTD-PLP

Bear Grylls demonstrates how to find and prepare this Native American survival food.

 
     
  Wild Foods: Prairie Turnip
Bravo Survival
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 19, 2014

Foraging for wild foods in the Great Plains. The Prairie Turnip or psoralea esculenta is a great food that was very important to the Native American tribes in the area

 
     

 

Camcorder

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