Grindelia squarrosa. If you’re wondering why it’s called gumweed, try touching the leaves or the flower! This plant makes a powerful breathing medicine. It’s best to harvest it after the yellow flowers appear and bloom, but before the flowers start dying and going to seed.
The Late-June battles continue with one of the most persistent weeds in our territory. Creeping Jenny may look cute and innocuous from the first few leaves that appear above ground, and I’ve even heard of people using it as an ornamental plant for this reason. But underneath the surface, those few little leaves are supportedContinue reading “Trying to Eradicate Creeping Jenny”
I saw this little one on a juniper bush outside one of the buildings at Sitting Bull College. Not sure what species the waglúla (caterpillar) is, but the shrub pictured here is in the Juniper family.
Some people follow celebrities online, reading everything they can about them online. I have crossed paths with plenty of famous people without noticing, but I follow rare plants online with a similar zeal. I had been reading up on Walking Onions for years, and was thrilled when a fellow gardener brought some to share atContinue reading “Walking Onion”
Ethnobotany in the kitchen: A lip balm made from local medicinal plants infused in olive oil, mixed with beeswax and finished with a touch of essential oils, following Linda Black Elk’s recipe. I made these for a friend’s giveaway.
Maštíŋčaphute čháŋ (literally, rabbit nose bush — inexplicably named Buffalo Berry in English). The leaves are oval-shaped and fuzzy, and the shrub is covered with sharp thorns. In the fall, the berries will turn red. Some people wait until after the first frost to harvest, because the berries will be sweeter. I have heard thatContinue reading “Maštíŋčaphute čháŋ”
Uŋžíŋžiŋtka hú. Rosa woodsii. It goes by many names in English, including Woods’ Rose and Wild Rose. Distribution maps show that it grows all over western North America, and also in some eastern areas including Ontario and Québec. Rose hips are widely known as a great source of Vitamin C, in a form that isContinue reading “Flower Biodiversity: Uŋžíŋžiŋtka Hú Waȟčá”
Čhaŋpȟáhu, Prunus americana, Chokecherry bush. Still completely green in mid-June. One of the Lakota names for the moon month of July is Čhaŋpȟásapa wí, the moon when the chokecherries are black [ripe]. After the clusters of white flowers blossom in the spring, small green fruits appear. Over the next couple months, they get bigger. Then,Continue reading “Čhaŋpȟá Tȟózi: Green Chokecherries”
Čhaŋíčaȟpehu, Urtica dioica, Stinging nettles. They grow in shaded, damp areas. Many people today avoid them or even wear thick gloves to pull them out for fear of the sting. But on Standing Rock, the knowledge that they are actually a powerful medicinal plant, and that the stingers can help with pain and inflammation, isContinue reading “Čhaŋíčaȟpehu: Nettles in early June”
Made by an expert weaver from Europe who came to live on the rez as a water protector while the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ Camp was still active. This yarn is made from the fibrous stems of the plant (not the silk in the seedpods). It’s very strong, and also pretty soft. I haven’t tried making thisContinue reading “Milkweed yarn”