Saturday, July 6, 2013

Indian Breadroot: Hairy blue prairie flowers

Indian Breadroot. Photograph  © Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
Close-up of Indian Breadroot © SB
Nestled in prairie grasses, the Indian Breadroot is a wild flower worth seeking out for its pale blue-purple petals and intensely furry sepals.

The root is edible — no surprise, given its name — and is said to be rich in starch and sugar (Jennings).

On the recent Prairie Passages Tour in SW Saskatchewan, we found Breadroot growing in several places in the Val Marie PFRA Pasture and in Grasslands National Park.

Its formal name is Psoralea esculenta, and it's related to the later blooming Silverleaf Psoralea, one of my favourite blue prairie wildflowers.

Indian Breadroot has lupine-like leaves and densely clustered flowers, and grows in the high, dry prairie grassland and slopes of the south-central and south-west part of Saskatchewan.

Indian Breadroot. Photograph  © Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
Furry cluster 
of Indian Breadroot flowers © SB
Indian Breadroot. Photograph  © Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
Indian Breadroot in prairie grasses © SB

Prairie Wildflower: Indian Breadroot (Psoralea esculenta)
Photo Location: Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan, Canada
Photo Dates: June 25, 2013

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