Wednesday, June 28, 2017

curlycup gumweed

It's still not a dandelion.  Indeed, I didn't have a clue what it was - growing by the side of our road, in a big patch; just coming into bloom; looked strangely sticky.  Lo!  It is a Curlycup Gumweed (Grindelia squarrosa), a plant I swear I never heard of before today.  One of the things I absolutely love about my new wildflower book is that - in addition to all the usual botanical information, and up to five or six photos of each plant (buds, flowers, leaves, seedpods, apparently typical habitat, and so on), it tells you about Native uses.  So for the curlycup gumweed, we're told "Infusions of this plant used by Navajo to kill ants ingested by lambs" (who knew lambs were inclined that way? or maybe it's accidental), "also poured into anthills to kill ants" (that could be useful); the resinous exudate used to hold lacerated skin together until healed" (so could that).

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