SAMPSON'S SNAKEROOT
File Size: 41 KB
 
Orbexilum pedunculatum   (P. Mill. ) Rydb.
[=Psoralea psoralioides  (Walt. ) Cory  var. eglandulosa  (Elliott ) F.L. Freeman]
Cherokee County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 12-32 inches
Family: Fabaceae - Bean Family
Flowering Period:   May, June
Stems: 1 to several, erect or ascending, sparsely branched, glabrous or sparingly stiff-hairy.
Leaves: Alternate, pinnately 3-foliolate; leaflets narrowly-oblong to lanceolate or elliptic, 1.6 to 2.8 inches long, 2/5 to 4/5 inch long, sparingly stiff-hairy, gradually narrowed to rounded tip; stalks .4 to 2.4 inches long to nearly absent above, stalk of middle leaflet longer than stalks of lateral leaflets; stipules 1/6 to 1/5 inch long.
Inflorescences: Raceme, dense, spike-like, 1.6 to 4 inches long; stalk 3.4 to 6 inches long; bracts often with glandular dots.
Flowers: Calyx tube bell-shaped, about 1/10 inch long, stiff-hairy, often glandular-dotted; corolla papilionaceous, lilac or lavender; banner egg-shaped, 1/5 to 1/4 inch long; wings 1/6 to 1/4 inch long; keel 1/10 inch long, purple-tipped.
Fruits: Pod, nearly circular, about 1/5 inch long, flattened, 1-seeded; seed egg-shaped, 1/8 inch long, maroon or dark brown.
Habitat: Rocky open woods, sandy open ground, bluffs and prairies; dry or moist acidic soils.
Distribution: Southeast corner of Kansas.
Uses: Native Americans used a poultice of boiled roots on sores, boils, and wounds. The plant was also used to treat colic and indigestion.

Sampson's snakeroot inflorescences
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Cherokee County, Kansas
Sampson's snakeroot
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Cherokee County, Kansas
Sampson's snakeroot
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Cherokee County, Kansas
Sampson's snakeroot
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Cherokee County, Kansas
Sampson's snakeroot
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Cherokee County, Kansas
Sampson's snakeroot leaves
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Cherokee County, Kansas
Sampson's snakeroot
71 KB
Cherokee County, Kansas