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Psoralea castorea - S.Watson.

Common Name Beaver Indian breadroot
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards Although no specific mention of toxicity for this species has been found, at least some members of this genus contain furanocoumarins, these substances can cause photosensitivity in some people[65].
Habitats Sandy flats and washes, 500 - 900 metres in California[71].
Range Western N. America.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Psoralea castorea Beaver Indian breadroot


Margaret Williams @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
Psoralea castorea Beaver Indian breadroot
Margaret Williams @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

 

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Summary

This name is a synonym of Pediomelum castoreum. Pediomelum castoreum is a low-growing, erect, herbaceous perennial plant growing from a deep-rooted, spindle-shaped taproot that can be 5 - 8cm long and 1 - 3cm wide; the plant usually only produces a single stem 2 - 5cm tall, sometimes with decumbent branches 10cm or longer. This is one of several related species that provide an edible, nutritious root and, as such, was commonly harvested for food by the native N. Americans. It is still often used as a wild food.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Psoralea castorea is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in). The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Plant Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Root
Edible Uses:

Root - raw or cooked[2, 46, 105, 161]. A good size[85]. The root can also be dried and ground into a powder then used in soups or with cereals for making bread etc[161].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Soil stabilization

The plant is valuable under natural conditions as a soil stabilizer[200].

Special Uses

Nitrogen Fixer

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Succeeds in an ordinary garden soil[1 ]. Requires a well-drained soil in a sunny position[200 ]. Plants are very intolerant of root disturbance, they are best planted out into their permanent positions whilst still small[200 ]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant, but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200 ].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

Fahrenheit:

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Plant Propagation

Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in early to mid spring in a greenhouse. Either sow the seed in individual pots or pot up the young seedlings as soon as possible in order to avoid root disturbance. Grow them on in the pots until planting out in their final positions. It is usually impossible to transplant this species without fatal damage to the root[200]. Division in spring. With great care since the plant resents root disturbance. It is virtually impossible to divide this species successfully[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Native to: Arizona, California, Nevada.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Psoralea argophyllaSilverleaf Scurf PeaPerennial0.6 0-0  LMHNDM212
Psoralea californicaCalifornia Indian breadrootPerennial0.2 0-0  LMHNDM202
Psoralea canescensBuckrootPerennial0.0 -  LMNDM212
Psoralea corylifoliaBu Gu ZhiAnnual0.6 -  LMHNM14 
Psoralea cuspidataIndian Breadroot, Largebract Indian breadrootPerennial0.6 0-0  LMNDM202
Psoralea esculentaBreadroot, Large Indian breadrootPerennial0.3 4-8  LMHNDM513
Psoralea glandulosaCulenShrub3.0 8-11  LMHNM31 
Psoralea hypogaeaSmall Indian BreadrootPerennial0.1 4-8  LMNDM402
Psoralea lanceolataLemon scurfpeaPerennial0.6 0-0  LMNDM202
Psoralea macrostachyaLarge Leather RootPerennial1.0 0-0  LMHNM212
Psoralea mephitica Perennial0.0 -  LMHNDM202
Psoralea orbicularisRoundleaf Leather RootPerennial0.1 5-9  LMHNDM112
Psoralea pedunculataSampson's SnakerootPerennial1.0 -  LMHNDM01 
Psoralea subacaulisWhiterim scurfpeaPerennial0.2 0-0  LMHNDM202
Psoralea tenuifloraSlender Scurfy Pea, Slimflower scurfpeaPerennial1.0 0-0  LMHNDM202

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

Expert comment

Author

S.Watson.

Botanical References

71

Links / References

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