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Name Variations Edit
- breadroot scurf pea
- pomme blanche
About Prairie turnip Edit
Wikipedia Article About Prairie Turnip on Wikipedia
Psoralea esculenta is an herbaceous perennial plant native to prairies and dry woodlands of central North America, which bears a starchy tuberous root edible as a root vegetable.
Several densely-haired stems emerge from the ground and reach up to 30 cm, bearing palmately compound leaves divided into five leaflets. Summer produces abundant blue or purple flowers in terminal clusters 5 to 10 cm long, leading to flattened, slender-tipped pods.
The plant grows from one or more sturdy brown roots which form rounded tuberous bodies about 7 to 10 cm below the surface, each 4 to 10 cm long. These can be eaten raw, dried, or cooked. The raw root is moderately sweet and tastes like the turnip. The dried root can be ground into a flour.
Abundant, palatable, and nutritious, the root was once a wild-gathered staple of Native Americans and early European explorers. Its characteristics make it an obvious candidate for possible domestication.