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Psoralea hypogaea - Torr.&A.Gray.

Common Name Small Indian Breadroot
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards Although no specific mention of toxicity for this species has been found, at least some members of this genus contain furanocoumarins, these substances can cause photosensitivity in some people[65].
Habitats Rocky or sandy prairies, bluffs and stream valleys[228].
Range Western N. America - Great Plains, east to Nebraska and south to Oklahoma.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Psoralea hypogaea Small 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
Psoralea hypogaea Small Indian Breadroot

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Psoralea hypogaea is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) 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 hypogaeum. (Nutt. ex Torr.&Gray.)Rydb.

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Root.
Edible Uses:

Root - raw or cooked[2, 62, 85, 161, 257]. Rich in starch[105]. The root can also be dried, ground into a powder and used in soups or with cereals for making bread etc[161]. The root is up to 60mm long and 15mm thick[60]. The root was an important food source fr the native North American Indians[274].

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.



None known

Other Uses

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]. Some botanists have reclassified the plant and now call it Pediomelum hypogaeum[274]. 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].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

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 esculentaBreadroot, Large Indian breadroot51
Psoralea glandulosaCulen31
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

Torr.&A.Gray.

Botanical References

60200228

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Billie Dopslauf   Sun Feb 15 2009

Where can I obtain seeds?

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Subject : Psoralea hypogaea  
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