5 responses to “Pediomelum esculentum”

  1. Stan Flouride

    Was this plant a source of carbohydrates for Indians as the name “Indian Breadroot” implies?
    If so, how was it acquired and used?
    Thanks for any answers.

  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Hi Stan,
    Yes, the tuber was used as a source of starch by both the First Nations peoples of the grasslands and early Europeans. The actual preparation of it as a food, though, I’ve not been able to track down.

  3. Lauren Leach-Steffens

    I have eaten a soup made by the Lakota in Eagle Butte, S.D. which had this root as a vegetable. It is called timpsula by that group. It had a slightly sweet taste, otherwise being somewhere between potato and turnip in texture.

  4. Lance M. Foster

    Try A Taste of Heritage: Crow Indian Recipes and Herbal Medicines by Alma Hogan Snell. She is the granddaughter of Pretty Shield. She talks a lot about the prairie turnip and gives two recipes, “wild turnip porridge” and “wild turnip bread.”

  5. A. Stonefish

    I am an Undergraduate at Sitting Bull College in Fort Yate’s, ND. Currently I am preforming research on growth habits and possible long term restoration of Pediomelum esculentum to establish and promote a larger plant population.
    This plant is still harvested by many families of the Lakota/Dakota people. Techniques are passed down through decending generation among families.
    Prairie Turnips are used for soups mostly, the tuber is harvested in large quantities(usually 40-60 turnips in one harvesting session), and then braided together by the roots. The braid is then able to be hung up in the kitchen for easy and convenient access over the winter.

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