breadroot

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Related to Prairie turnip: pomme blanche, Psoralea esculenta

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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References in periodicals archive ?
As the interviews progressed, elderly Piegan women began telling her a folk tale involving ma's, the Blackfoot word for prairie turnip. The story -- virtually identicial to one reported in 1909 by Smithsonian researchers Clark Wissler and David C.
Peacock speculates that ceremonies and legends depicting the prairie turnip as sacred may reflect the tribes' need to conserve the plant, which the nomadic Blackfoot may have had difficulty harvesting as they moved from one site to the next.
In an attempt to determine the prairie turnip's dietary significance for the northern tribes, Barry Kaye and D.W.
But scientists still lack definitive evidence of the prairie turnip's place in the prehistoric Blackfoot diet, says Peacock, who maintains that most studies of tribal lifestyles have instead focused on buffalo bones, and occasionally the remains of medicinal plants.