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Psoralea esculenta - Pursh.
                 
Common Name Breadroot, Large Indian breadroot
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards This species contains furanocoumarins, these substances can cause photosensitivity in some people[65].
Habitats Rocky woods and prairies, on calcareous soils[43].
Range N. America - Manitoba to North Dakota and Wisconsin, south to Missouri and Texas.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Summary

Psoralea esculenta Breadroot, Large Indian breadroot


www.nps.gov
Psoralea esculenta Breadroot, Large Indian breadroot
USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 2
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Psoralea esculenta is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in flower from May to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Synonyms
Pediomelum esculentum. (Pursh.)Rydb.
Habitats
 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Oil;  Root.
Edible Uses: Oil.

Root - raw or cooked[2, 4, 46, 57, 161]. It can also be dried for later use[183]. The dried root can be ground into a powder and used with cereals in making cakes, porridges etc[183]. Starchy and glutinous, the raw root is said to have a sweetish turnip-like taste[183]. The plant is best harvested as the tops die down at the end of the growing season[85]. This food is a staple and also considered to be a luxury item by many native North American Indian tribes[2, 61]. The root contains about 70% starch, 9% protein and 5% sugars[95].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Pectoral;  Poultice;  Stomachic.

An infusion of the dried roots has been used in the treatment of gastro-enteritis, sore throats and chest problems[257]. The roots have been chewed by children as a treatment for bowel complaints[257]. A poultice of the chewed roots has been applied to sprains and fractures[257].
Other Uses
Oil;  Soil stabilization.

The plant is a good soil stabilizer in its natural environment[200].
Cultivation details
Succeeds in an ordinary garden soil[1]. Requires a well-drained soil in a sunny position[200]. Plants are very intolerant of root disturbance, they are best planted out into their permanent positions whilst still small[200]. This plant has been recommended for improvement through breeding and selection for its edible root[183]. It was sent to Europe around the year 1800 as a potential food crop but was not well received[213]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200].
Propagation
Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in early to mid spring in a greenhouse. Either sow the seed in individual pots or pot up the young seedlings as soon as possible in order to avoid root disturbance. Grow them on in the pots until planting out in their final positions. It is usually impossible to transplant this species without fatal damage to the root[200]. Division in spring. With great care since the plant resents root disturbance. It is virtually impossible to divide this species successfully[200].
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Psoralea argophyllaSilverleaf Scurf Pea, Silverleaf Indian breadroot21
Psoralea californicaCalifornia Indian breadroot20
Psoralea canescensBuckroot21
Psoralea castoreaBeaver Indian breadroot40
Psoralea corylifoliaBu Gu Zhi14
Psoralea cuspidataIndian Breadroot, Largebract Indian breadroot20
Psoralea glandulosaCulen31
Psoralea hypogaeaSmall Indian Breadroot40
Psoralea lanceolataLemon scurfpea20
Psoralea macrostachyaLarge Leather Root21
Psoralea mephitica 20
Psoralea orbicularisRoundleaf Leather Root11
Psoralea pedunculataSampson's Snakeroot01
Psoralea subacaulisWhiterim scurfpea20
Psoralea tenuifloraSlender Scurfy Pea, Slimflower scurfpea20
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Expert comment
 
Author
Pursh.
Botanical References
43200
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
Pheng Tue Nov 27 2007
Are there photos of this veg available as I wish to confirm that this is what we Chinese in Singapore call "Munkwang"
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Subject : Psoralea esculenta  

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