breadroot


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breadroot

or

Indian breadroot,

perennial plant (Psoralea esculenta) of the family Leguminosae (pulsepulse,
in botany, common name for members of the Fabaceae (Leguminosae), a large plant family, called also the pea, or legume, family. Numbering about 650 genera and 17,000 species, the family is third largest, after the asters and the orchids.
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 family), indigenous to the American prairies and valued by Native Americans for the starchy tuberous root that was much used for food, eaten raw or roasted or dried for winter use. The breadroot has bluish pealike blossoms and in general resembles the lupine. The plant was the prairie turnip or pomme de prairie of Western pioneers. Other species of Psoralea have also supplied food. Breadroot is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Rosales, family Leguminosae.
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Students randomly selected twenty-five specimens each of five species (Shooting-Star, Dodecatheon meadia; Blue-eyed Grass, Sisyrinchium albidum; Nashville Breadroot, Pediomelum subacaulis; Nashville Mustard, Leavenworthia stylosa; and Star-Grass, Hypoxis hirsuta) from the cedar glades at Flat Rock, Murfreesboro, Tennessee.