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”

Pápa (Bapa) Waháŋpi

This is one of my favorite traditional foods. Pápa (or Bapa, as it’s often called around here) is dried meat, usually wild game — and waháŋpi means “soup.” The main plant ingredients are sliced thíŋpsiŋla (Pediomelum esculentum) and waštúŋkala (dried sweet corn, Zea mays). This is a hearty, nourishing winter soup. I had this bowlContinue reading “Pápa (Bapa) Waháŋpi”

Winter Wormwood

Wormwood. Pȟežíȟota swúla. Artemisia absinthium. This plant, introduced here from Eurasia, is one of the hardiest members of the sage (Artemisia) family. I took this picture in late winter, when the snow was starting to melt, but no other plants had emerged yet. It must have a lot of antifreeze in its leaves, because theContinue reading “Winter Wormwood”

Willow Fence/ Čhoȟwáŋžiča Čhúŋkaške

This was from my garden a few years ago. Soon after I planted my seeds, pawprints and bootprints emerged on my carefully-cultivated fresh soil. I knew my seeds had no hope of making it past the seedling stage unless I could find a way to protect them. I needed a fence that would keep theContinue reading “Willow Fence/ Čhoȟwáŋžiča Čhúŋkaške”

Winter Projects: Marigold Seed Saving

I’ve been growing my own marigolds from seed for many years now. They are quite easy to save seed from, once you know what you’re doing. Since fall is a chaotic season that leaves little time for non-time-sensitive projects, I tend to save my marigold seed-saving activities for the winter. Once a flower head driesContinue reading “Winter Projects: Marigold Seed Saving”

Tincture Making: Curlycup Gumweed / Pteíčhiyuȟa

I wanted to share a few pictures of my Curlycup Gumweed / Pteíčhiyuȟa tincture. It’s a very simple recipe, but has helped me tremendously with breathing problems during the winter months. So I wanted to share this for others who might also want to try making this medicine. Generally, tincturing with alcohol is a wayContinue reading “Tincture Making: Curlycup Gumweed / Pteíčhiyuȟa”

Curlycup Gumweed

Pteíčhiyuȟa. Grindelia squarrosa. Curlycup Gumweed. This is one of the yellow flowers you’ll find growing by the side of the road this time of year — not just in the Dakotas, but across North America. This is the time of year to harvest it! If you look at the underside of the flower, you canContinue reading “Curlycup Gumweed”

Baby Gooseberry Bush – Wičhágnaška hú

Here’s a baby gooseberry bush that I rescued from death by lawnmower, and replanted in a safer place. Isn’t it adorable? While Wičhágnaška hú (Ribes missouriense, or Missouri gooseberry bushes) are fairly common around here, they’re a pretty under-appreciated fruit. Most people can’t identify them by sight, and don’t think much about mowing them down.Continue reading “Baby Gooseberry Bush – Wičhágnaška hú”

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”