Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Pediomelum hypogaeum


SPECIES: Pediomelum hypogaeum
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Howard, Janet L. 1993. Pediomelum hypogaeum. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: []. ABBREVIATION : PEDHYP SYNONYMS : Psoralea hypogaea Nutt. [1,5,6,9,16] Psoralea hypogaea var. hypogaea Psoralea hypogaea var. scaposa Gray Psoralea hypogaea var. subulata (Bush) Grimes [9,12] SCS PLANT CODE : PEHY COMMON NAMES : subterranean Indian breadroot little breadroot little breadroot scurf-pea prairie turnip Indian turnip prairie potato subterranean breadroot TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of subterranean Indian breadroot is Pediomelum hypogaeum (Nutt.) Rydb. (Fabaceae). Recognized varieties are [20]: Pediomelum hypogaeum (Nutt.) Rydb. var. hypogaea Pediomelum hypogaeum (Nutt.) Rydb. var. scaposum (Gray) Mahler Pediomelum hypogaeum (Nutt.) Rydb. var. subulatum (Bush) Grimes Pediomelum hypogaeum var. scaposum occurs in east-central Texas, and Pediomelum hypogaeum var. subulatum occurs in eastern Texas. Varietal differences are based upon peduncle length and degree of pubescence [12]. LIFE FORM : Forb FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : The Natural Heritage Program lists Pediomelum hypogaeum var. hypogaea as threatened in Montana [19].


SPECIES: Pediomelum hypogaeum
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Subterranean Indian breadroot is distributed from eastern Montana and eastern Wyoming south through eastern Colorado, western Kansas, and western Oklahoma to northeastern New Mexico, Texas, and extreme southwestern Arkansas [6,9,12]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES14 Oak - pine FRES15 Oak - hickory FRES16 Oak - gum - cypress FRES32 Texas savanna FRES36 Mountain grasslands FRES38 Plains grasslands FRES39 Prairie STATES : AR CO KS MT NE NM OK TX WY BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont 14 Great Plains 16 Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K063 Foothills prairie K064 Grama - needlegrass - wheatgrass K065 Grama - buffalograss K069 Bluestem - grama prairie K070 Sandsage - bluestem prairie K074 Bluestem prairie K076 Blackland prairie K082 Mosaic of K074 and K100 K084 Cross Timbers K085 Mesquite - buffalograss K086 Juniper - oak savanna K100 Oak - hickory forest K111 Oak - hickory - pine forest K113 Southern floodplain forest SAF COVER TYPES : 40 Post oak - blackjack oak 53 White oak 66 Ashe juniper - redberry (Pinchot) juniper 67 Mohrs ("shin") oak 68 Mesquite 71 Longleaf pine - scrub oak 76 Shortleaf pine - oak 82 Loblolly pine - hardwood 88 Willow oak - water oak - diamondleaf oak 92 Sweetgum - willow oak 96 Overcup oak - water hickory HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Subterranean Indian breadroot occurs in plains grasslands and prairies of the Great Plains.


SPECIES: Pediomelum hypogaeum
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : The foliage of Pediomelum species are suspected of being poisonous [3,17]. Their seeds contain skin-photosensitizing chemicals [10]. PALATABILITY : Pediomelum species are unpalatable to domestic sheep and cattle [17]. NUTRITIONAL VALUE : Subterranean Indian breadroot taproots contain 69.8 percent starch and 7 percent protein (dry weight), and are high in vitamin C (17.1 mg/100 g dry weight) [4,14]. COVER VALUE : No information was available on this topic as of 1993. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : No information was available on this topic as of 1993. OTHER USES AND VALUES : Subterranean Indian breadroot taproots were a staple diet item of Plains Indians [4,17]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : No information was available on this topic as of 1993.


SPECIES: Pediomelum hypogaeum
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Subterranean Indian breadroot is a native perennial forb. It is acaulescent or rarely short-stemmed. The taproot is a thick, woody storage organ located 1 to 3 inches (3-8 cm) below ground. The caudex is also usually located below ground. The fruit is a legume [1,9,16]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Geophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Subterranean Indian breadroot reproduces from seed [9]. Seeds of Psoralea species require scarification before germination [14]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Subterranean Indian breadroot grows in rocky or sandy soils. It is found on bluffs, plains, and stream valleys [9]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : No information was available on this topic as of 1993. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Subterranean Indian breadroot flowers from May to June [9].


SPECIES: Pediomelum hypogaeum
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Fire-related information on subterranean Indian breadroot is lacking in the literature. Subterranean Indian breadroot probably survives fire because the caudex is located below ground. Presumably, starch reserves in the root are metabolized the growing season following fire, and plants sprout from the caudex. Fire probably helps stimulate germination of seedbank-stored subterranean Indian breadroot seeds by scarifying them. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Caudex, growing points in soil Ground residual colonizer (on-site, initial community)


SPECIES: Pediomelum hypogaeum
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Fire probably top-kills subterranean Indian breadroot. PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : No information was available on this topic as of 1993. FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : No information was available on this topic as of 1993.


SPECIES: Pediomelum hypogaeum
REFERENCES : 1. Bare, Janet E. 1979. Wildflowers and weeds of Kansas. Lawrence, KS: The Regents Press of Kansas. 509 p. [3801] 2. Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p. [434] 3. Cappelletti, E. M.; Innocenti, G.; Caporale, G. 1992. Possible ecological significance of within-fruit and seed furocoumarin d distribution in two Psoralea species. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 18(2): 155-164. [20912] 4. Cowen, Ron. 1991. The sacred turnip. Science News. 139(20): 316-317. [20913] 5. Dorn, Robert D. 1984. Vascular plants of Montana. Cheyenne, WY: Mountain West Publishing. 276 p. [819] 6. Dorn, Robert D. 1988. Vascular plants of Wyoming. Cheyenne, WY: Mountain West Publishing. 340 p. [6129] 7. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905] 8. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others]. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998] 9. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603] 10. Innocenti, G.; Dall'Acqua, F.; Guiotto, A.; Caporale, G. 1977. Investigation on skin-photosensitizing activity of various kinds of Psoralea. Planta Medica. 31(2): 151-155. [20910] 11. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 77 p. [1384] 12. Patricio, M. V. 1990. A revision of the genus Arctophyllum (Rubiaceae: Hedyotideae). Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden. 61: 1-113. [20915] 13. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 14. Spessard, L. L. 1988. Seed-germination studies of Psoralea esculenta Pursh (Indian turnip) and Psoralea argophylla Pursh (silver scurfpea). Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences. 16: 123-126. [20914] 15. Stickney, Peter F. 1989. Seral origin of species originating in northern Rocky Mountain forests. Unpublished draft on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; RWU 4403 files. 7 p. [20090] 16. Stubbendiek, James; Conard, Elverne C. 1989. Common legumes of the Great Plains: an illustrated guide. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press. 330 p. [11049] 17. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 1937. Range plant handbook. Washington, DC. 532 p. [2387] 18. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982. National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names. SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p. [11573] 19. Lesica, Peter; Shelly, J. Stephen. 1991. Sensitive, threatened and endangered vascular plants of Montana. Occasional Publication No. 1. Helena, MT: Montana Natural Heritage Program. 88 p. [20964] 20. ITIS Database. 2012. Integrated taxonomic information system, [Online]. Available: [51763]

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