Wínakapo — Hops

A common request I get, as someone who works with the plant medicines from the Dakotas, is for help managing sleeplessness or anxiety – but not with anything that will knock the patient out too long, leave them woozy, or be addictive. The flowers of this plant are my best solution. Wínakapo (Wild hops, HumulusContinue reading “Wínakapo — Hops”

Wasžúšteča Wanáȟča: Strawberry Flower

When you see the first strawberry flowers of the year, you know the berries aren’t too far behind! This picture is from early spring. Wild Strawberries, Fragaria spp., wažúšteča, are one of my favorites. They are indigenous to boreal forests around the same latitude all over the northern hemisphere. In addition to indigenous North AmericanContinue reading “Wasžúšteča Wanáȟča: Strawberry Flower”

Waȟčázi sú kiŋ / Sunflower seed

Waníyetu wóečhuŋ/ winter projects. This is another entry in my series of winter projects. Wahčázi sú kiŋ / the seeds of the sunflower (Helianthus annuus) are one of my favorite Indigenous North American traditional foods that many people don’t realize originate in the Americas. Then and now, they’re an important source of food and oil.Continue reading “Waȟčázi sú kiŋ / Sunflower seed”

Wagmú waȟčá waŋ

Looking back, posting a pic from September: A late-season squash blossom. I had bought some Mexico-grown kabocha squash in early spring and thrown the seeds out onto the compost pile. A few of them grew into squash vines, but the compost pile doesn’t get great sun, so I transplanted them into the garden. Here isContinue reading “Wagmú waȟčá waŋ”

A Gift of Violets

A coffee filter with a violet plant inside: a gift from a neighbor and friend from the Standing Rock Seed Exchange, who has a fantastic garden in another one of the North Dakota communities on the reservation. These lovely little native plants pop up everywhere in the garden, and are sometimes considered weeds, so aContinue reading “A Gift of Violets”

Chokecherry flowers

Seen on a plant walk for the Culture Day at Selfridge Public Schools. I led walks around the school grounds for groups of students from different grade levels. Although they all knew how to identify a chokecherry plant from the presence of ripe cherries, few of them could identify it based on the leaf orContinue reading “Chokecherry flowers”

Wáǧačhaŋ Čhíŋkpa Pȟežúta Káǧa — Making Medicine from Cottonwood Buds

Wáǧačhaŋ. Populus deltoides. Cottonwood. This is a very culturally important tree for the Lakota and many other Indigenous cultures. It has more uses than I will get into in this post. Today I will focus on the medicinal uses of the buds, or čhíŋkpa. (“Čhíŋkpa” specifically refers to a bud on a tree; “čhamní” isContinue reading “Wáǧačhaŋ Čhíŋkpa Pȟežúta Káǧa — Making Medicine from Cottonwood Buds”

Wáǧačhaŋ Wanáȟča Yúta — Eating Cottonwood Flowers

Wáǧačhaŋ wanáȟča kiŋ yáta oyákihi he? Can you eat cottonwood flowers? I’ve been working with cottonwood buds to make medicinal salves, but when I walked by our neighborhood trees and noticed that the buds had burst open to reveal these red flowers (technically called catkins, not flowers), I wondered if they were edible. I triedContinue reading “Wáǧačhaŋ Wanáȟča Yúta — Eating Cottonwood Flowers”