June prairie sunset, with an ičáȟpe hú (Echinacea angustifolia) plant in the foreground. At this time of year, when we were out thíŋpsiŋla hunting, the pink petals were just starting to emerge around the flowerheads.
The root and various other parts of this plant are a great medicine for toothaches, sore throats, immune system issues, and many more things. I’ve also heard it called úŋglakčapi, referring to people using the prickly but sturdy seedhead as a comb.
Right now, the plant is putting its energy into producing flowers, which will become seeds for the next generation of plants, so this is not the right time of year to harvest it. Due to past instances of outsiders coming onto the reservation and over-harvesting this important traditional medicine resource, there are now restrictions on harvesting it on the reservation.