Retrospective: Biodiversity at Sacred Stone Camp

This month marks three years since the founding of Sacred Stone Camp in April of 2016, on land just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, at the confluence of two important rivers. These photos were taken during Prof. Linda Black Elk’s Sitting Bull College Field Ethnobotany class in June 2016. This day we didContinue reading “Retrospective: Biodiversity at Sacred Stone Camp”

Ten Foot Tall Sunflowers in South Dakota

You can’t tell, but my friend’s two-story house is hidden behind this forest of sunflowers. Sunflower varieties cross quite easily. While the type she grows are not a species with a particular name, they are likely a cross between our local indigenous sunflowers and some cultivated varieties. The seeds are too small to be worthContinue reading “Ten Foot Tall Sunflowers in South Dakota”

Midsummer Corn

Some of my Mandan Bride corn in early July. (If you’re unfamiliar with Mandan Bride corn, this link will take you to another grower’s account of it.) Corn flowers are up and fertilizing the ears, maybe ~45 days after planting: and here is one of the first ears developing!

Ičáȟpe Hú: Echinacea angustifolia plant

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,Continue reading “Ičáȟpe Hú: Echinacea angustifolia plant”

Prairie Turnip Impostors? Thíŋpsinla (Timpsila) vs. False Thíŋpsiŋla, and how to tell them apart

View Post Pop quiz: Which of these two plants is Thíŋpsiŋla (Prairie turnip, Pediomelum esculentum), and which is its look-alike cousin, the False Thíŋpsiŋla or Ghost Thíŋpsiŋla (Pediomelum argophyllum, Silver Scurf Pea)? Plant #1: Plant #2: **********If you guessed that #2 was the true thíŋpsila, you are correct! I should know better.I make this mistakeContinue reading “Prairie Turnip Impostors? Thíŋpsinla (Timpsila) vs. False Thíŋpsiŋla, and how to tell them apart”

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”

Siberian Elm

Siberian Elm. Ulmus Pumila. The State of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources classifies it as an invasive species, noting that “[t]he tree can invade and dominate disturbed prairies in just a few years.” (see link for more info.) This fast growing, hard to eradicate tree is a real problem here, growing up under homes andContinue reading “Siberian Elm”