breadroot

breadroot or Indian breadroot, perennial plant ( Psoralea esculenta ) of the family Leguminosae (pulse 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 Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Rosales, family Leguminosae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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