Author Topic: Help identifying a plant  (Read 616 times)

Offline nativeshootist

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Help identifying a plant
« on: January 13, 2021, 02:29:03 PM »
I was reading Luther Kelly's autobiography and in the early chapters he talks about two plants that were used to mix with tobacco. Ones chansasa which I know what that is and occasionally harvest it. But the one I dont know he calls "larb". Which he describes as a low glossy plant found by the foot of mountains. I attached a image of how he exactly describes it.

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: Help identifying a plant
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2021, 03:03:17 PM »

 :)  WHAT   ;)

NO PICTURES???  Pshaw   ::)

Offline DJ

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Re: Help identifying a plant
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2021, 08:02:15 PM »
Wikipedia suggests it is Manzanita, aka "Ute Tobacco."  True or not, it might be a lead  you could follow.

Offline nativeshootist

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Re: Help identifying a plant
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2021, 08:28:47 PM »
All I got is the text from the book. If there was a actual image I've wouldve reversed image searched and got it that way.

Offline LongWalker

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Re: Help identifying a plant
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2021, 10:48:07 PM »
Bearberry Arctostaphylos uva-ursi .  It is an acquired taste, but if you mix it with dried-out twist and let it sit covered overnight, it isn't bad. 

Bearberry is a manzanita (same genus) but not all manzanitas are bearberry, if that makes sense.  The manzanita Arctostaphylos columbiana that you find over along the Oregon/Washington coast is much harsher, and can give you a nasty cough. 
In my book a pioneer is a man who turned all the grass upside down, strung bob-wire over the dust that was left, poisoned the water, cut down the trees, killed the Indian who owned the land and called it progress.  Charles M. Russell

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Re: Help identifying a plant
« Reply #5 on: Today at 04:02:04 AM »

Offline Tsalagidave

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Re: Help identifying a plant
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2021, 11:20:43 PM »
Rufus B. Sage wrote of larb as one of the native plants growing along with the various wild fruits in the Oregon/Washington region. It grows a deep red berry that is 'tempting to the eye and pleasing to the taste'.

Here is a better description of the plant:

[52] The larb-berry is of a deep red color, and somewhat larger than the common currant. It is of a sweet spicy taste, and very pleasant. It grows upon a small ground vine of evergreen, with a leaf assimilating the winter-clover in shape, and is found only in mountainous regions.

It also appears in the 1870 report for The Commissioner of Agriculture where it is identified as 'Bearberry' (Arctostaphylos ura-ursi) - This plant is the killikinick of the indians and larb of hunters. It is a small plant growing among rocks in the western mountains; has a deep red berry somewhat larger than the common currant; has a sweet spicy taste, and is very pleasant food.

Hope this helps.

-Dave
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Offline LongWalker

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Re: Help identifying a plant
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2021, 02:08:41 PM »
FWIW, the etymology for "larb" is believed to be from the French "le herb". 

Years ago for an ethnobotany class, I did a paper on the use of tobacco, bearberry, etc. pre-1900 on the plains/intermontane west.   Not much beyond casual mention in the primary literature, Sage being one of the few exceptions.  As I recall, one of the reasons for the Ag Comm report was to explore possible marketable crops. 

Seeds have been reported in a few of the archaeological reports I've read over the years.  No surprise there, as the berries are edible.  In a few reports there were indications of smoking (pipe fragments), but I've not seen anything tying the two together. 
In my book a pioneer is a man who turned all the grass upside down, strung bob-wire over the dust that was left, poisoned the water, cut down the trees, killed the Indian who owned the land and called it progress.  Charles M. Russell

Offline Kent Shootwell

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Re: Help identifying a plant
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2021, 04:55:18 PM »
I’m starting to think I know this plant, grouse seem to like the berry’s but I’ve never tried them. The berry is very firm on the low growing plants that I’m speaking of. Common around these mountains.
Little powder much lead shoots far kills dead.
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Offline Professor Marvel

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Re: Help identifying a plant
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2021, 10:16:04 PM »
Greetings My Dear netizens

RE Bearberry:
It is one of several herbs often used in the Lakotah and Plains Sacred Pipe mixtures.

The leaves of the herb are dried then finely chopped, and used in a mix.

Among the Most often used herbs are
bearberry
tobacco
dried and chopped inner bark of the red willow
mullien
prarie sage leaves
finely chopped or shaved osha root
cedar leaves (flat or round, depending)

mixes vary by region, tribe, and individual

for example Southwest Pueblo Peoples will sometimes smoke *only* tobacco, always home grown
and very strong, and sometimes they will add Yerba Santa or other herbs. As an aside, whilst we were
visiting friends on the Hopi reserve, some younger guys warned of the strength of the Hopi grown leaf tobacco -
they had been collecting some tobacco leaves and two of them "forgot their gloves" ... and got quite
dizzy from the nicotine absorbed only through their palms! We were all wondering about the elders
smoking it for ceremony in the Kiva. Then an older feller popped in (for another quart of hot black coffee)
and said, "Oh, you get used to it!"

Oh, and we grew some tobacco varieties in our organic raised bed garden, collected and dried it; gave some
to one of our Dakotah friends who tried it and proclaimed it " Mrs. Marvel's Window Box"

These mixes ought not to be "bought off the shelf", but gathered and prepared by the individual after
carefull preparation and prayer. These smoking mixtures are reseved for ceremony, and not smoked recreationally,
and usually in a consecrated Sacred Pipe. .

yhs
prof marvel
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Offline nativeshootist

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Re: Help identifying a plant
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2021, 11:33:41 PM »
Thanks for the help guys! I was trying to figure it out just based of that description but I would've been looking for years. thanks again!

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Re: Help identifying a plant
« Reply #10 on: Today at 04:02:04 AM »

Offline Tsalagidave

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Re: Help identifying a plant
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2021, 11:40:06 PM »
I'm glad everyone could come together on this. I learned a lot from the discussion.

Prof. M., thanks for the insight. I've never tried growing my own tobacco or preparing my own kinnikinic. There is a lot of knowledge and experience here to benefit greatly from.

-Dave
Guns don't kill people; fathers with pretty daughters do.

Offline Professor Marvel

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Re: Help identifying a plant
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2021, 03:28:37 AM »
I'm glad everyone could come together on this. I learned a lot from the discussion.

Prof. M., thanks for the insight. I've never tried growing my own tobacco or preparing my own kinnikinic. There is a lot of knowledge and experience here to benefit greatly from.

-Dave

Growing tobacco is amazingly easy! I was led to believe that it might only be grown in temerate climes,
but when I discovered the Ojibway and Lakotah had been growing it (using deer scapula hoes) for centuries
I thought to give it a try. Grown just like tomatoes, in fact right next to them - (both are nightshades)
and since the tomato hornworm will eat tobacco, it's easy to find them by spraying both plants with soapy wayer.
When mature, I plucked the leaves  then hung to dry, all varieties came out quite strong.

I believe that strength is one reason why it is "cut" in a smoking mixture.

yhs
prof marvel
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Offline Dave T

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Re: Help identifying a plant
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2021, 09:40:47 AM »
...usually in a consecrated Sacred Pipe.

Those pipes were most often "Pipestone" from SE Minnesota. I visited the Pipestone National Monument years ago and was fascinated by the material (a very red soapstone) and the quarry that has been worked by Native Americans for hundreds of years. The National Park people said it was considered sacred ground and even warring tribes set aside their differences if they encountered each other there.

Only Native Americans were allowed to quarry the stone when I was there and they claim it is still a sacred place. The long stemmed pipes on display at the visitors center were works of art.

Dave

Offline Tsalagidave

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Re: Help identifying a plant
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2021, 10:28:36 AM »
I'm inspired now and would like to try growing my own bacca'. Looks like I'm in for some reading, trial and error here.

-Dave
Guns don't kill people; fathers with pretty daughters do.

Offline Tsalagidave

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Re: Help identifying a plant
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2021, 10:59:26 AM »
Those pipes were most often "Pipestone" from SE Minnesota. I visited the Pipestone National Monument years ago and was fascinated by the material (a very red soapstone) and the quarry that has been worked by Native Americans for hundreds of years. The National Park people said it was considered sacred ground and even warring tribes set aside their differences if they encountered each other there.

Only Native Americans were allowed to quarry the stone when I was there and they claim it is still a sacred place. The long stemmed pipes on display at the visitors center were works of art.

Dave

Here is mine: Original Red Catlinite Ceremonial Pipe (Lakota, mid-19th century). Overall length is 19.5 inches. 1875 County map book is added for size comparison.
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Offline Dave T

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Re: Help identifying a plant
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2021, 02:51:42 PM »
Dave,

Very nice. Very nice indeed!

Dave

Offline Professor Marvel

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Re: Help identifying a plant
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2021, 06:16:15 PM »
Here is mine: Original Red Catlinite Ceremonial Pipe (Lakota, mid-19th century). Overall length is 19.5 inches. 1875 County map book is added for size comparison.

Greetings TDave
Sending you a loooooooong boring pm lol
Yhs
Prf marvel
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Offline Tsalagidave

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Re: Help identifying a plant
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2021, 10:30:55 PM »
Thanks Dave.
Thanks Prof.

-Dave
Guns don't kill people; fathers with pretty daughters do.

Offline nativeshootist

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Re: Help identifying a plant
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2021, 11:26:29 PM »
professor marvel. what type of native tobacco do you grow?

Offline Professor Marvel

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Re: Help identifying a plant
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2021, 10:47:18 PM »
You are quite welcome Dave!

professor marvel. what type of native tobacco do you grow?

My Good NativeShootist,

We planted 3 kinds-

golden burly
https://sustainableseedco.com/products/tobacco-seeds-golden-burley-tobacco-seeds?variant=3171491905576

Mandan Tobacco, or "rustica tobacco"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotiana_quadrivalvis

and Aztec Tobacco, aka "strong tobacco"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotiana_rustica

seeds can be gotten mailorder or from the Museum of The Fur Trade in Chardron, Nebraska.

Since then, we have gotten some seeds from our Hopi friends but haven't planted any yet.

I had been trying to see if I can replicate the "Cree Twist", that was available in Hudson Bay trading posts

but no luck so far.

we are now in a more rural area, and anything I plant gets eaten as soon as it comes up,
rabits, lizards, ravens, ground squirells, packrats, grey field mice, you name it. Chickenwire and hardware cloth
don't seem to work...  So  I welcome the bull snakes when they show up!

I tried building a small greenhouse but some real small mice, lizards, and cutworms got in.
(I'll have to try some of that "spray foam in a can" to seal it off better. And more concrete around the base.)

And the Cabbage and Lettuce bolted. And the cutworms got ALL the peppers.
I only managed to salvage some tomatoes out of that experiment.

This year I am boxing in the porch to make a sealed 4 season porch  with windows and trying "container planting"
( glorified name for kitty litter buckets )
I figure I can start some of the Mandan, Aztec and Hopi tobacco in there and see what we get.

If I can keep the critters out my next step is to try a little hydroponic setup - basically plastic sewer pipe on a rack with holes for the plants .
It takes some fooling about to set up, but once done one gets more plants in less space and it's said to be much easier to maintain.
Also get veggies in the winter. Walk right out onto the 4 Season porch and pick a few.

hope this helps
prof marvel
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