Pediomelum esculentum (Indian Breadroot) - photos and description

Pediomelum esculentum

Pediomelum esculentum

Pediomelum esculentum

Pediomelum esculentum

General: Stout-stemmed, erect plant, stems densely covered with long white hairs. In fall, the plant's stem breaks off at ground level and then blows across the prairie like a tumbleweed.

Flowers: Flowers purple-blue in dense terminal spikes. Flowers measured to 2 cm long, spike measured to 7 cm long.

Leaves: Leaves alternate, palmately divided into 5 or 6 leaflets. Leaflets measured at 3.5 cm long and 1.5 cm wide. Leaflets glabrous on top, pubescent with long hairs on margin and bottom.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 50 cm, we measured plants to 28 cm tall.

Habitat: Prairie plains and hillsides.

Abundance: Fairly common.

Origin: Native. 

Synonym: Listed in some of the guides we use as Psoralea esculenta

When and where photographed: Took the above photos June 16th, prairie hillside, Buffalo Grass Eco Reserve, 200 km southeast of our home in Regina, SK.