The first prairie flower of the spring! Anemone patents in Latin, prairie pasqueflower or prairie crocus in English, and Hokší Čhekpá Waĥčá (Child’s Navel Flower) in Lakota. Pics from mid-April, North and South Dakota sides of the reservation.
I picked them for the root, which I’ll dry for tea, and the greens, which are a great fresh salad and can also be cooked. The second one, I found a cute baby dandelion flower bud wile I was cleaning the root.
Pšiŋ. Onions. There is an indigenous wild onion, pšiŋ šičámna, but this post is about domestic onions. These are a special North-Dakota-adapted variety bred by Dr. Frank Kutka at NDSU extension in Dickinson. He gave me the seeds at a seed exchange at the Indigenous Farming Conference hosted by the White Earth Land Recovery ProjectContinue reading “Pšíŋ Hinápȟe: Onions Emerging, over 5 days”
On an early spring walk along the Moreau River, when the ice was still melting away and the first leaves of our local plants were just beginning to show themselves, I saw this wild strawberry plant. It was very close to the ground, disguised so it would be easy to miss. Not even a hintContinue reading “Wažúšteča – Wild Strawberry Leaves in April”
Kȟaŋta. Prunus Americana. Wild Plum. While this shrub is most famous for its small but delicious fruits, the spring is a good time to harvest the stem tips, which are another kind of medicine, You can make a tea from the twig tips that treats asthma or other breathing difficulties. This is what the tipsContinue reading “Kȟáŋta Twig Tea”
Just a picture of the first chokecherry leaf and flower buds of the season. Taken in late April.
Stinging nettles. Čhaŋíčaȟpehu. Urtica dioica. Many of us have only unpleasant associations with this plant: the sting. It is seen as a plant to be avoided, and carefully uprooted where possible. Here on Standing Rock, though, a growing number of people are intentionally inflicting themselves with nettle stings. This may sound surprising when you firstContinue reading “Čhaŋíčaȟpehu / Stinging Nettles”
Lettuce. It’s native to Egypt and has long been cultivated in Eurasia. It’s a relatively recent arrival over here. It’s called “maštíŋčathawote” in Lakota. Literally, rabbit food. I got a few baby lettuce plants at the Free Farm Stand in San Francisco a few years ago. I have been growing their descendants ever since. Sú.Continue reading “Maštíŋčathawote su”
A friend gave me a Connecticut Cornfield Pumpkin, grown here on Standing Rock. It has been sitting in the library at Sitting Bull College since the fall, and was still in pretty good shape, minus a few soft spots on its skin. The Lakȟóta word “wagmú” is a great one — see below for theContinue reading “Wagmú”
This plant goes by many names: čhaŋšáša among the Lakota people where I live, kinnikinnick among the Anishinaabe to the east, Cornus stolonifera in Botanical Latin, and Red Osier Dogwood, Red Willow, and Kinnikinnick Willow in English. The outer bark is an unmistakable, deep red color. The Lakota name refers to its color, šá (red).Continue reading “Čhaŋšáša.”