Pediomelum aromaticum
Author: (Payson) W.A. Weber

Paradox breadroot

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Close up of Pediomelum aromaticum by Peggy Lyon
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Taxonomic Comments

=Psoralea aromatica

Ranks and Status

Global rank: G3
State rank: S2
Federal protection status: BLM Sensitive
State protection status: None

[+] Description and Phenology

Pediomelum aromaticum by Bobbi Angell
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General description: Pediomelum aromaticum is a perennial herb with cream/white and light purple flowers that are 8-14 mm long.  Leaves are green, and palmate with (3) 5-7 leaflets; not forming a basal rosette.  Stems are 15-30 cm tall; and much-branched.  

Look Alikes: Pediomelum megalanthum has larger flowers (15-20 mm long), gray pubescent leaves forming a basal rosette, and very short stems.

Phenology: Flowers May through June, fruit in June (Cronquist 1989, Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012).

[+] Herbarium Photos

Images of Pediomelum aromaticum housed at the Colorado State University Herbarium.

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[+] Habitat

Habitat of Pediomelum aromaticum by Peggy Lyon
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Open pinyon-juniper woodlands, in sandy soils or adobe hills. Associated species include Juniperus osteosperma, Aristida purpurea, Lupinus crassus, Eriogonum lonchophyllum, Gutierrezia sarothrae, Astragalus bisulcatus, Tetraneuris iavesiana, Achnatherum hymenoides, Bouteloua gracilis, Arabis pulchra, Cryptantha flava, and Erysimum capitatum (Colorado National Heritage Program 2012).

Elevation Range: 4,623 - 6,693 feet (1,409 - 2,040 meters)

[+] Distribution

Distribution of Pediomelum aromaticum in Colorado according to mapped land ownership/management boundaries (CNHP 2012, COMaP v9 ).
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Distribution of Pediomelum aromaticum in Colorado
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Colorado endemic: No
Global range: This species is known from Mesa and Montrose counties in Colorado (Weber and Wittmann 1996); Mohave County, Arizona; and San Juan, Washington, Emery and Grand counties, Utah (Welsh et al. 1993).
State range: Known from Mesa,Montrose and Montezuma counties in Colorado.

[+] Threats and Management Issues

Several occurrences reported to be heavily impacted by grazing. One population occurs in a weedy field near a road in a highly degraded area.

[+] References

    • Ackerfield, J. 2012. The Flora of Colorado. Colorado State University Herbarium. 433 pp.
    • Cronquist A. 1989. Intermountain Flora Vascular Plants of the Intermountain West, USA. Vol. 3, Part B. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY.
    • Harrington, H. D. 1954. Manual of the Plants of Colorado. Sage Books, Denver, CO. 666 pp.
    • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
    • Lavender, A.E., M.M. Fink, S.E. Linn, D.M. Theobald. 2011. Colorado Ownership, Management, and Protection v9 Database. Colorado Natural Heritage Program and Geospatial Centroid, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. (30 September).
    • Ockendon, D.J. (1965). Southwest. Nat. 10:105-106.
    • Payson, E. 1915. New and noteworthy plants from southwestern Colorado. Botanical Gazette 60:374-376.
    • USDA, NRCS. 2013. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
    • Weber, W. A. and R. C. Wittmann. 2012. Colorado Flora, Western Slope, A Field Guide to the Vascular Plants, Fourth Edition. Boulder, Colorado. 532 pp.
    • Welsh, S.L, N.D. Atwood, S. Goodrich, and L.C. Higgins. 1993. A Utah Flora, second edition, revised. Brigham Young University, Provo, UT.

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