Prairie Turnips

Prairie Turnips

About Prairie Turnips

Psoralea esculenta (prairie turnip) 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. The plant is also known as Pediomelum esculenta. English names for the plant include tipsin, teepsenee, breadroot, breadroot scurf pea, and pomme blanche. The prairie turnip was a staple food of the Plains Indians.A closely related species, Psoralea hypogaea, the little breadroot, is also edible, although the plant and root are smaller. Another species, Psoralea argophylla, was probably harvested for food only in times of famine.The prairie turnip has a range on the Great Plains from Manitoba south to Texas and from Wisconsin west to Montana.