Medicine Wheel Garden Resources

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Perennial plant. A perennial plant or simply perennial (from Latin per, meaning "through", and annus, meaning "year") is a plant that lives for more than two years.[1] The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter-lived annuals and biennials.

Perennial plant

The term is also widely used to distinguish plants with little or no woody growth from trees and shrubs, which are also technically perennials.[2] Perennials, especially small flowering plants, that grow and bloom over the spring and summer, die back every autumn and winter, and then return in the spring from their root-stock, are known as herbaceous perennials. Herbaceous plant. Trientalis latifolia (Broadleaf Starflower) is a perennial herbaceous plant of the ground layer of forests in western North America.

Herbaceous plant

A herbaceous plant (in American botanical use simply herb) is a plant that has leaves and stems that die down at the end of the growing season to the soil level. They have no persistent woody stem above ground.[1] Herbaceous plants may be annuals, biennials or perennials.[2] Annual herbaceous plants die completely at the end of the growing season or when they have flowered and fruited, and they then grow again from seed.[3] Some relatively fast-growing herbaceous plants (especially annuals) are pioneers, or early-successional species. Others form the main vegetation of many stable habitats, occurring for example in the ground layer of forests, or in naturally open habitats such as meadow, salt marsh or desert.

Wormwood. As Medicine: The wormwood plant is used to treat a congested chest and to clear a stuffy head or stuffy nose.


The plant is very aromatic. For steaming purposes, the whole above ground wormwood plant is crushed and put into a pot of water to boil. Once the water starts to steam the pot is taken off the stove and set aside to cool. Ruth said, Trees & Shrubs. A tree typically has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground by the trunk.

Trees & Shrubs

This trunk typically contains woody tissue for strength, and vascular tissue to carry materials from one part of the tree to another. For most trees it is surrounded by a layer of bark which serves as a protective barrier. Shepherdia canadensis. The plant is a deciduous shrub found in open forests and thickets all over North America. Its northern limit is around the Arctic Circle. The shrub reaches a height of 1–4 m (3–13 feet). Fruits are extensively collected by some Canadian First Nations peoples such as Nlaka'pamux (Thompson), St'at'imc (Lillooet) and Secwepemc (Shuswap) in the province of British Columbia. The bitter berries are not eaten directly but rather processed as sxusem ("sxushem", also xoosum/"hooshum") or "Indian ice-cream".

Mooseberry (soapberry) As food.

Mooseberry (soapberry)

The red berries are edible. Annie B. Robert (COPE) said that the boiled berries can be eaten like any other cooked berry and that it helps to increase one’s appetite. Highbush Cranberry - Viburnum trilobum. Detail of the inflorescence Description[edit] It is a deciduous shrub growing to 4 m tall.

Highbush Cranberry - Viburnum trilobum

The bark is gray and rough and has a scaly texture. Populus Genus. Populus is a genus of 25–35 species of deciduous flowering plants in the family Salicaceae, native to most of the Northern Hemisphere.

Populus Genus

English names variously applied to different species include poplar /ˈpɒp.lər/, aspen, and cottonwood. Description[edit] The genus has a large genetic diversity, and can grow from anywhere between 15–50 m (49–164 ft) tall, with trunks of up to 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) diameter. Willow Genus. Willows, sallows, and osiers form the genus Salix, around 400 species[2] of deciduous trees and shrubs, found primarily on moist soils in cold and temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

Willow Genus

Most species are known as willow, but some narrow-leaved shrub species are called osier, and some broader-leaved species are referred to as sallow (from Old English sealh, related to the Latin word salix, willow). Some willows (particularly arctic and alpine species) are low-growing or creeping shrubs; for example, the dwarf willow (Salix herbacea) rarely exceeds 6 cm (2 in) in height, though it spreads widely across the ground. Description[edit] Red willow (alder) As food.

Red willow (alder)

Annie Benoit of Aklavik says that scraping off the dark outer covering of the bark is an option before eating or boiling it. Medicine from red willow is considered as valuable as spruce gum tea. The bark can be collected year round from any size of red willow. A solution for skin conditions is made by peeling the bark off the stem and boiling it slowly until the liquid turns orange. Two minutes of boiling will produce a weak solution, and five minutes a strong one. Black currant. Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute (GSCI)

Bait. Birch. As food.


Birch syrup (k’ii chų’ (G), k’ii chuu (T)) can be collected for one to two weeks in mid-June. The syrup, which is used as a topping for pancakes and other foods, is made by boiling down the sap until it thickens. A lot of sap must be collected to make a small amount of syrup. As medicine. Poplar. As medicine. The buds, which are very sticky, are collected in the spring before they open and then boiled. Drinking the tea relieves cold symptoms. Cleaners. Horsetail. As Medicine: The horsetail plant is used to make a medicinal tea to treat kidney problems, bladder infections or urinary track problems. To treat a bladder infection, a tea is made with the horsetail plant and large amounts of the tea are taken to clear the condition. Moss (sphagnum moss) As diapers. Gwich’in women used to hang wet moss in branches of willows to dry and get rid of bugs. (The bugs crawl out or drop from the drying moss.) The dry moss was stuff and sewn into cloth sugar bags for use as diapers.

White moss (Reindeer lichen) This lichen grows in large mats in spruce forests, where it is often eaten by caribou. According to Alfred Semple, Lazarus Sittichinli said it takes a long time to grow. He also told Alfred that if you eat animals that eat willow, like moose, you will get hungry more quickly than eating animals that eat lichen, like caribou. William Teya said, as children, they were taught to respect the lichen. Children were not supposed to play on it and if you took some you were to pay for it. As medicine. Food. Rubus chamaemorus. Labrador tea - dwarf. Bear root. Bearberry (bird’s eye) Birch. Black currant. Blackberry. Blueberry. Cranberry. Fireweed - tall. Horsetail. Flooring. Willow. Spruce. Dwarf birch. Fire Starters. Birch and Willow fungus. Spruce. Dyes. Cranberry. Red willow (alder) Diapers. Moss (sphagnum moss)