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Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum)
Perennial Forbs Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum)

General: Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum) is a low-growing, somewhat mounded annual forb with many basal leaves and short flowering stalks. The petioles are long, the leaves are palmate (like a hand with an upright palm and fingers held upward), and the flowers look a bit like a pine cone with typical purple pea flowers peaking out.

Indian breadroot is an uncommon component of desert vegetation communities. Around Las Vegas, look for this species on the northeast side of Dry Lake Valley northeast of Las Vegas.

Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum)

Family: Legume (Fabaceae).

Other Names: Beaver Dam scurfpea, Beaver scurfpea, beaver dam breadroot, beaver Indian breadroot, Psoralea castorea

Plant Form: Perennial forb with a deep root.

Height: To a few inches high.

Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum)

Stems: None.

Leaves: Petiole to about 5 inches long; Blade palmate with 4 or 5 leaflets (like a lupine leaf).

Flowers: Blooms in the spring. Inflorescence: dense raceme. Pea flowers purple, about 1/2 inches long. The flower has a single, broad, lower lobe.

Seeds: Fruit is a hairy oval bean pod with a long, curved beak. Seeds ridged, gray, about 6-mm long.

Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum)

Habitat: Desert flats with high mud content. Also apparently gravely and sandy soils.

Elevation: To about 2,000 to 5,000 feet.

Distribution: Southern Nevada (Clark Co.) and northwestern Arizona (Mojave Co.), eastern California. Distribution limited.

Comments: This species is, or has been, considered sensitive by the BLM and USFWS. Conservation Status Rank is G3-S3: Vulnerable—At moderate risk of extinction due to a restricted range, relatively few populations (often 80 or fewer), recent and widespread declines, or other factors.

Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum) Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum)
Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum) Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum)
Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum) Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum)
Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum) Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum)
Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum) Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum)
Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum) Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum)
Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum) Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum)
Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum)
Indian breadroots in southern Gold Butte National Monument
Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum)
Indian breadroot in southern Gold Butte National Monument
Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum)
Indian breadroot in southern Gold Butte National Monument
Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum)
Indian breadroot in northern Gold Butte National Monument
Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum)
Indian breadroot in northern Gold Butte
Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum)
Indian breadroot in northern Gold Butte
Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum)
Indian breadroot in Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument
Indian breadroot (Pediomelum castoreum)
Indian breadroot in Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
copyright; Last updated 170924

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