Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

This native perennial wildflower is about 2-3' tall and abundantly branched. The slender stems are light gray-green, terete, and canescent. Alternate compound leaves occur at intervals along these stems
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Scurfy Pea is uncommon in Illinois, occurring from the NE section of the state to the west-central section in counties that are located near the Illinois river. Illinois lies along the eastern edge of its distribution. Habitats include hill prairies, dry upland prairies and gravel prairies, limestone glades, barren upland savannas, and areas along railroads. Scurfy Pea is usually found in high quality habitats, although it benefits from disturbance that reduces woody vegetation. In particular, it responds well to occasional wildfires.
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Perennial, Herbs, Plants with rhizomes or suckers, Taproot present, Nodules present, Stems erect or ascending, Stems less than 1 m tall, Plants gland-dotted or with gland-tipped hairs, Stems solid, Stems or young twigs glabrous or sparsely glabrate, Stems or young twigs sparsely to densely hairy, Leaves alternate, Leaves petiolate, Stipules conspicuous, Stipules setiform, subulate or acicular, Stipules persistent, Stipules free, Leaves compound, Leaves palmately 2-3 foliate, Leaves palmately 5-11 foliate, Leaf or leaflet margins entire, Leaflets opposite, Leaflets 3, Leaflets 4, Leaflets 5-9, Leaves glandular punctate or gland-dotted, Leaves glabrous or nearly so, Flowers solitary in axils, or appearing solitary, Flowers in axillary clusters or few-floweredracemes, 2-6 flowers, Inflorescences racemes, Inflorescence axillary, Bracts conspicuously present, Bracts hairy, Flowers zygomorphic, Calyx 5-lobed, Calyx gland-dotted or with glandular spot, Calyx hairy, Petals separate, Corolla papilionaceous, Petals blue, lavander to purple, or violet, Banner petal suborbicular, broadly rounded, Wing petals narrow, oblanceolate to oblong, Wing tips obtuse or rounded, Stamens 9-10, Stamens or anthers dimorphic, alternating large and small, Stamens diadelphous, 9 united, 1 free, Filaments glabrous, Styl e terete, Fruit a legume, Fruit unilocular, Fruit indehiscent, Fruit elongate, straight, Fruit oblong or ellipsoidal, Fruit coriaceous or becoming woody, Fruit exserted from calyx, Fruit beaked, Fruit glabrous or glabrate, Fruit gland-dotted or with gland-tipped hairs, Fruit 1-seeded, Seeds reniform, Seed surface smooth, Seeds olive, brown, or black.
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Dr. David Bogler

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Type Information

Possible type for Psoralidium bigelovii Rydb.
Catalog Number: US 24107
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): J. M. Bigelow
Year Collected: 1850
Locality: Valley of Rio Grande, below Donana., New Mexico, United States, North America
  • Possible type: Rydberg, P. A. 1919. N. Amer. Fl. 24: 15.
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Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Isotype for Psoralea tenuiflora f. alba Steyerm.
Catalog Number: US 1804143
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): J. A. Steyermark
Year Collected: 1938
Locality: West of Warsaw., Benton, Missouri, United States, North America
  • Isotype: Steyermark, J. A. 1939. Rhodora. 41: 585.
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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Scurfy Pea is uncommon in Illinois, occurring from the NE section of the state to the west-central section in counties that are located near the Illinois river. Illinois lies along the eastern edge of its distribution. Habitats include hill prairies, dry upland prairies and gravel prairies, limestone glades, barren upland savannas, and areas along railroads. Scurfy Pea is usually found in high quality habitats, although it benefits from disturbance that reduces woody vegetation. In particular, it responds well to occasional wildfires.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Associations

Faunal Associations

The flowers are pollinated primarily by small to medium-sized bees, including the Digger bee Svastra obliqua, the Plasterer bee Colletes willistoni, and the Dagger bee Calliopsis andreniformis. These bees are attracted to the nectar of the flowers. Some grasshoppers eat the foliage, including Melanoplus femurrubrum (Red-Legged Grasshopper), Melanoplus foedus (Striped Sand Grasshopper), and Melanoplus packardii (Packard's Grasshopper). The caterpillars of the flower moth Schinia jaguarina feed on the developing seedpods, while the leaf beetle Luperosoma parallelum feeds on the foliage. The foliage of Scurfy Pea is occasionally browsed by White-Tailed Deer and Cottontail Rabbits, even though it has been reported to be mildly toxic to livestock. It is possible that some upland gamebirds and granivorous songbirds eat the seeds, but records about this are lacking.
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Flower-Visiting Insects of Scurfy Pea in Illinois

Psoralea tenuiflora (Scurfy Pea)
(Information is limited to bees; observations are from LaBerge and Krombein et al. as indicated below)

Bees (long-tongued)
Anthophoridae (Eucerini): Svastra obliqua obliqua (LB)

Bees (short-tongued)
Colletidae (Colletinae): Colletes willistoni sn (LB, Kr); Andrenidae (Panurginae): Calliopsis andreniformis sn (Kr)

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Known predators

Psoralidium tenuiflorum (slimflower scurf pea (forb/shrub)) is prey of:
Bos taurus
Ovis
Bison
Coleoptera
Hemiptera
Auchenorrhyncha
Sternorrhyncha
Hymenoptera
Papilionoidea
Geomyidae

Based on studies in:
USA: California, Cabrillo Point (Grassland)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • L. D. Harris and L. Paur, A quantitative food web analysis of a shortgrass community, Technical Report No. 154, Grassland Biome. U.S. International Biological Program (1972), from p. 17.
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Source: SPIRE

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Psoralidium tenuiflorum

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Psoralidium tenuiflorum

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 4
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is full sun, dry conditions, and soil that contains gravelly material, a little sand, or clay-loam. New plants can be started from seeds, but growth and development are slow. Established plants don't produce foliage until rather late in the spring, but they develop quickly thereafter from the nutrients inside their taproots. Resistance to drought is excellent.
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Wikipedia

Psoralidium tenuiflorum

Psoralidium tenuiflorum (slimleaf scurfpea) is a plant. The Zuni people apply a poultice of moistened leaves to any body part for purification.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stevenson, Matilda Coxe (1915). Ethnobotany of the Zuni Indians. SI-BAE Annual Report #30. p. 58. 


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