What is this flat dry stick-like leaf that rattles?

I googled those terms but came up empty, here are three photos with a ruler for scale:

The hole and scratches are my dog's teeth, so as you can tell, it is strong yet not brittle. When you shake it, it rattles, like maybe there are seeds in there.

It's from a public irrigated park in a Northern Hemisphere hot desert climate (BWh) region, and I picked it up today, so spring time if that will help.

My dog is usually the one to find it, and we play fetch with it.

I believe this a seed-pod from an Inga or Delonix plant.

Inga are native to South America, while Delonix are native to Madagascar. But they've been introduced to other places and I've seen similar plants in the northern hemisphere. Inda and Delonix are both members of the subfamily Caesalpinioideae. I found the name by searching for "seed pod shaker". Sometimes you just need to know what terms to google.

Shown in the image below is pacay, or Inga feuillei.

But your pod could also be from the flame tree, Delonix regia.

It is a large seed pod of a leguminous tree (Fabaceae family). This is one of the largest plant families that there is, so it is impossible to identify the species exactly without more information. Many trees of this family are drought (desert) tolerant as you mention BWh region of northern hemisphere. The seed pod in your photo looks very much like Delonix regia. A couple of links are below.

Cucurbita pepo

Cucurbita pepo is a cultivated plant of the genus Cucurbita. It yields varieties of winter squash and pumpkin, but the most widespread varieties belong to the subspecies Cucurbita pepo subsp. pepo, called summer squash. [2]

  • Citrullus variegatusSchrad. ex M.Roem.
  • Cucumis pepo(L.) Dumort.
  • Cucumis zapalloSteud.
  • Cucurbita aurantiaWilld.
  • Cucurbita ceratocerasHaberle ex Mart.
  • Cucurbita clodiensisNocca
  • Cucurbita courgeroSer.
  • Cucurbita elongataBean ex Schrad.
  • Cucurbita esculentaGray
  • Cucurbita fastuosaSalisb.
  • Cucurbita griseaM.Roem.
  • Cucurbita hybridaBertol. ex Naudin
  • Cucurbita lignosaMill.
  • Cucurbita mammeataMolina
  • Cucurbita mammosaJ.F.Gmel.
  • Cucurbita marsupiiformisHaberle ex M.Roem. [Invalid]
  • Cucurbita melopepoL.
  • Cucurbita oblongaLink
  • Cucurbita polymorphaDuchesne
  • Cucurbita pomiformisM.Roem.
  • Cucurbita pyridarisDuchesne ex Poir.
  • Cucurbita pyxidarisDC.
  • Cucurbita subverrucosaWilld.
  • Cucurbita succadoNägeli ex Naudin
  • Cucurbita succedoArn.
  • Cucurbita tuberculosaSchrad.
  • Cucurbita urnigeraSchrad.
  • Cucurbita variegataSteud.
  • Cucurbita venosaDescourt.
  • Cucurbita verrucosaL.
  • Pepo citrullusSageret
  • Pepo potironSageret
  • Pepo vulgarisMoench

It has been domesticated in the Americas for thousands of years. [3] Some authors maintain that C. pepo is derived from C. texana, while others suggest that C. texana is merely feral C. pepo. [4] They have a wide variety of uses, especially as a food source and for medical conditions. C. pepo seems more closely related to C. fraterna, though disagreements exist about the exact nature of that connection, too. [5]

It is a host species for the melonworm moth, the squash vine borer, and the pickleworm. They are also the preferred pollen for squash bees.

Behold the heavenly homegrown tomato

Among people who care about food, it's practically a cliché. If you want to make a point about the horrors of produce shipped across oceans and continents, winter supermarket tomatoes are Exhibit A.

Tough and tasteless, they seem as unlike a ripe, fresh-from-the-garden tomato as Paris Las Vegas does Paris, France. It isn't just foodies and old-timers who know this. Many ordinary Americans who couldn't care less about grass-fed beef or artisanal cheese can conjure up the voluptuous taste of a homegrown tomato: warm, juicy, sloppy, sweet. Heaven.

Small wonder they inspired a song, Homegrown Tomatoes, from Texan musician Guy Clark. He croons, "All winter without `em's a culinary bummer.''

The supermarket specimens go a long way toward explaining why, at this time of year, tomato fever seems to grip the city. Local tomatoes typically ripen in late May or early June some gardeners get a second crop in the fall. When the weather is warm, as it has been this year, the plants may produce well into the winter.

Texas, in case you wondered, ranked 17th in commercial production of fresh tomatoes in 2004, the latest year for which the U.S. Department of Agriculture has statistics. As for backyard production, that's anyone's guess.

Warning: Growing tomatoes in the Houston area is not for the happy-go-lucky gardener. They prefer cooler climes and fewer stink bugs. If you can't grow them successfully, look for them at farmers markets and at farm stands in and around Houston.

A mock-exasperated Monica Pope called tomatoes "the bane of my existence." Pope, the chef-owner of t'afia restaurant, is one of the organizers of the Midtown Farmers Market. Right now blueberries, baby turnips and carrots, adorable pattypan squashes, handsome green onions and neat bags of shelled cream peas line market tables. But during Houston's feels-like-the-blink-of-an-eye tomato season, shoppers "don't see anything else," Pope said. "I swear to God, it's like a rabid dog."

If it's tomatoes you're after, shop early, advised Bayou City Farmers' Market manager Jacquie Miller. They're "snapped up in a heartbeat." Incidentally &mdash or maybe not &mdash the market's logo is a drawing of a tomato.

What is it about tomatoes?

We can sensibly say the following: They're highly versatile in the kitchen, equally at home with Southern cooking or soul food, Tex-Mex or Italian, sweet (yes!) or savory. Like violently air-conditioned megaplexes, ice-cold beer and water parks, tomatoes shout summer. Moreover, they have an affinity for relaxed summertime eating. Think burgers and salads.

And, at the risk of repeating ourselves, supermarket tomatoes consistently disappoint. Available in scandalously few varieties, they're bred to endure long-distance travel and prolonged stints in the grocery store. Their skin, said Bayou market volunteer H.C. Clark, "is close to stainless steel." About the best that can be said for them is that they're better than they used to be.

All well and good, but does that wholly explain why tomatoes are the number one backyard garden crop in America? Further digging led us to some less conventional theories from local enthusiasts.

A Galveston County Master Gardener, Alcestis "Cooky" Oberg is a self-described "tomato maniac."

With more than 20 varieties growing in her garden, she rattles off tomato recipes and gardening lore at breakneck speed.

"Each tomato has its own character, and they are all very different," she said. "That's something that you are not going to get at a grocery store. Celery is celery. Broccoli is broccoli. Onions are onions. Even garlic is garlic. The tomato is something worth seeking out of all the vegetables.

"The tomato is capable of real celebration," she added. "It's got variety and style and personality. It has amazing and unexpected vistas."

During tomato season, attorney D.J. Seidel works two jobs &mdash lawyer by day, farmer by night. The morning we spoke, he'd been up at 4 a.m. to water his 1/2 -acre backyard garden in Meyerland. He's growing 250 heirloom tomato plants, more than triple last year's production. He'll sell the harvest to restaurants and at local farmers markets.

"It's the Mercedes-Benz of fruit. It's the Rolls-Royce of fruit," Seidel says. "If you get a good tomato, you can fall in love. If you get a good okra, you forget about it . . . You are not going to forget a good tomato."

And that's not all. "When you bite into a tomato that is fully ripened, you will feel that tomato urge," he continued. "There is an urge like, 'I want that tomato in my mouth. I just want it.' Growing and loving tomatoes is a very passionate art."

Market manager Miller agrees.

"There is something about the redness. They are sexy. You know how strawberries are sexy? It's partly the color. Honestly. I definitely think there is biology involved."

Apparently it wasn't called the Love Apple for nothing.

"Only two things money can't buy, and that's true love and homegrown tomatoes." So goes the refrain of Clark's song. But if neither can be bought, they can be sought &mdash sometimes in the same place.

Dr. Alan Hirsch, the neurologic director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, suggests the "tomato test" as a way to select a potential mate. In his book What Flavor is Your Personality?Discover Who You are By Looking at What You Eat, he wrote, "People who prefer tomatoes tend to be introspective, self-searching people who are sensitive to the needs of others."

He elaborated in a telephone interview. "If you are choosing your . . . potential spouse, see if they like tomatoes, because if they like them, they'd be a good one to go for, as being sensitive to the needs of others is a good trait for marriage."

Dr. Hirsch, may we propose a refinement?

Does your sweetie like supermarket tomatoes? Stop. Look around. There are plenty of other fish in the sea.

Does your honey hanker for homegrown? Pull out the ring and tie the knot.


I stole the idea for this easy hors d'oeuvre from Rozanne Gold's Recipes 1-2-3 (out of print but available on various book Web sites, prices vary). Make as many or as few as you need. They're adorable and &mdash except for the fussiness of hollowing out the tomatoes &mdash quick to make. At a cocktail party, serve them in mini-paper-muffin cups, garnished with a small-leafed herb, so that your guests can nibble on them easily and neatly. Also try stuffing cherry tomatoes with hummus, baba ghanouj, garlicy white-bean dip, a thick tzatsiki or anything else that may appeal to you.

Cut the top third of each tomato off at the stem end, and reserve the caps. Carefully hollow out the tomatoes with a small spoon or melon baller. Discard the pulp, or use it for another recipe. Lightly salt the tomato cavities. Turn the tomatoes upside down on paper towels for 20 minutes to drain.

Meanwhile, make the filling by combining the goat cheese and the tapenade or pesto in a bowl. Keep tasting as you mash them together. Use as much of the tapanade or pesto as you like until the balance of flavor suits you.

Stuff the tomatoes with the goat-cheese mixture, mounding slightly over the rim of the tomato. Top with the tomato cap. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for no more than a few hours.

The recipe for this Middle Eastern bread salad comes from Joanne Weir'sMore Cooking in the Wine Country (Simon & Schuster, $37.50). It's a wonderful salad, but it must be eaten as soon as you make it and relies entirely on excellent tomatoes. You can skip the purslane, which is hard to find, but it's a fabulous addition. I've played with adding chopped romaine lettuce, which I did not like, and chopped radishes, which I did.

  • 2 stale pita breads (8-inch diameter)
  • 1 cucumber, in 1/2 -inch dice
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 ripe tomatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds), in 1/2 -inch dice
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, in 1/2 -inch dice
  • 1 cup fresh purslane leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons crushed dried sumac

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Tear the pitas into 1-inch pieces. Scatter them on a baking sheet and bake until light golden and dry, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside.

Place the cucumbers in a single layer on several layers of paper towels. Sprinkle with salt, and let rest for 20 minutes. Then place the cucumbers in a colander, run cold water over them briefly and dry them on clean paper towels.

In a bowl, gently toss the cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions, bell pepper, purslane, parsley, mint and cilantro.

Whisk together the garlic, juice and oil. Drizzle over the salad, a bit at a time, taking care not to overdress. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the pita crisps. Toss to combine. Sprinkle with sumac. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.


This recipe comes from David Rosengarten Entertains: Fabulous Parties for Food Lovers (John Wiley & Sons, $35). You can vary the amount of potatoes, avocados, tomatoes and hard-boiled eggs. Without good tomatoes, it's not worth making.

  • 1/2 pound small, waxy potatoes
  • 2 firm, ripe Haas avocados
  • Fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley, larger leaves torn
  • 1 small purple onion, diced
  • 4 firm, ripe tomatoes, diced4 large hard-boiled eggs
  • Green Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prepare Green Vinaigrette (recipe follows).

Boil the potatoes in salted water until cooked but still firm. Drain and cool. Peel, quarter and slice.

Dice the avocados, and toss with juice so they don't discolor. Combine the potatoes, avocados, parsley, onion and tomatoes. Peel and dice two of the eggs and add.

Drizzle with as much of the Green Vinaigrette as needed, tossing gently. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Peel and quarter remaining eggs for garnish.

Makes 6 servings.


This recipe makes 1 cup, which is much more than you need for the South American Salad, but the leftover makes a yummy, emphatic salad dressing.

  • 1 to 2 shallots (about 1/4 cup) roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients except oil in blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Slowly, with motor running, add oil in steady stream, to make an emulsification. Adjust seasonings to taste.

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Animal Diversity Web

Broadbills are placed in the order Passeriformes, suborder Eurylaimi and family Eurylaimidae . There are four subfamilies of broadbills: Smithornithinae (typical African broadbills), Calyptomeninae (Asian green broadbills), Eurylaiminae (assorted Asian broadbills) and Pseudocalyptomeninae (Grauer’s broadbill). There are 9 genera and 14 species of broadbills. They are thought to be closely related to pittas (Pittidae) and asities (Philepittidae).

Broadbills are small to medium sized birds with a big head, a wide bill and often bright coloration (greens, reds, blues, etc.). They are primarily forest birds and live in rainforests of tropical Asia and Africa. Little is known about the mating behavior of this group. Some species are thought to be monogamous, others polygynous and some may be cooperative breeders. During displays, many broadbills make a loud trilling sound with their wings that can be heard up to 60 m away. Most species are gregarious. Some species eat primarily insects while others mainly eat fruit. (Bruce, 2003 Dickinson, 2003)

Geographic Range

Broadtails live in the Ethiopian and Oriental regions. They are found mainly in tropical southeast Asia (from the Himalayas, southern China and the Philippines to Indonesia) and Africa. (Bruce, 2003 Campbell and Lack, 1985 Sibley and Ahlquist, 1990)


Broadbills are primary and secondary tropical forest species. Many species are found in the forest interior, but some are found in more open areas such as scrub, coastal bush, tree plantations and cultivated areas. They are often found near rivers and streams and live from sea level to 2550 m. (Bruce, 2003 Campbell and Lack, 1985 Wells, 1985)

  • Habitat Regions
  • tropical
  • terrestrial
  • Terrestrial Biomes
  • forest
  • rainforest
  • scrub forest
  • Aquatic Biomes
  • rivers and streams
  • Other Habitat Features
  • agricultural
  • riparian

Physical Description

Broadbills are small to medium sized birds they are 11.5 to 28.5 cm long and weigh 43 to 117 g. They have a large head, a wide, flat, hooked bill, large eyes and a large gape. The structure of the bill depends largely on the species’ diet. Many broadbills have bright coloration (greens, blues, reds and yellows) which actually helps them blend in with the surrounding habitat. Members of Smithornithinae resemble flycatchers and have brown streaky coloration. Members of Calyptomeninae have primarily green plumage with black markings males have iridescence. They also have loral plumes that extend over their bill making the bill appear smaller. Members of Pseudocalyptomeninae look similar to those in Calyptomeninae but have a longer tail and no loral plumes. The members of Eurylaiminae are variable in their plumage the wattled broadbills have an eye ring of large blue wattles. Males and females are similar in some species and dimorphic in others. Sometimes males and females have different coloration, but the difference is usually subtle. Where sexual dimorphism exists, females are duller than males. Juveniles look similar to adults but are duller and have shorter wings and tails. (Bruce, 2003 Campbell and Lack, 1985 Wells, 1985)

  • Other Physical Features
  • endothermic
  • bilateral symmetry
  • Sexual Dimorphism
  • sexes alike
  • sexes colored or patterned differently
  • male more colorful
  • ornamentation


Some species of broadbill are thought to be monogamous others polygynous (with a lek system) and still others may be cooperative breeders. Males of many species perform displays and courtship feeding. Male green broadbills (Calyptomena viridis) have a spinning display others have displays that involve head bobbing, wing flapping and feather fluffing. Members of Smithorninae have display flights in which their primary wing feathers make a buzzing sound that can be heard from more than 60 meters away. (Bruce, 2003 Campbell and Lack, 1985 Lambert and Woodcock, 1996 Wells, 1985)

Generally broadbills prefer to breed in the dry season. However, some may breed year-round. Nests are pear shaped with a side opening and are built hanging from small branches and extend over open areas, often over water. They are from 3 to 30 m above the ground (3 to 10 m on average). This nest placement protects the eggs and young from mammalian and reptilian predators, but makes them vulnerable to strong wind. Nests are made of grass, twigs, leaves, moss and roots, and are lined with green leaves, small roots and grassy fibers. They can have a long dangling tail made of vegetation and are often covered with leaves, moss and other materials these decorations help camouflage the nest. Nests take from 5 days to 7 weeks to construct. In some species both the males and females help build the nests, in others just the female, and in others there are helpers-at-the-nest. Observations have been made of groups of up to twenty dusky broadbills (Corydon sumatranus) building a single nest. Sometimes nests are built in thorny trees or near wasps and bees that presumably provide some protection to the birds. Broadbills will re-use nests from year to year.

Clutch size ranges from 1 to 8 eggs, but usually only 2 to 3 young are raised per brood. Eggs are 19 to 37 mm by 14 to 25 mm and may range from oval to elongated in shape. They may be glossy to matte, white to pale pink and may or may not have spots. Incubation lasts 17 to 18 days and the chicks fledge in 22 to 23 days. Broadbills are occasionally hosts to parasitic cuckoos (family Cuculidae). (Bruce, 2003 Campbell and Lack, 1985 Lambert and Woodcock, 1996 Wells, 1985)

  • Key Reproductive Features
  • iteroparous
  • seasonal breeding
  • year-round breeding
  • gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
  • sexual
  • fertilization
    • internal

    The roles of the sexes in incubating and raising young are not well known. Incubation lasts 17 to 18 days and the altricial chicks fledge in 22 to 23 days. Adults will feign injury to draw predators away from the nest. Young are fed mainly invertebrates and post-fledgling dependency lasts more than 20 weeks in some species. At least three species are suspected to have helpers-at-the-nest. (Bruce, 2003 Campbell and Lack, 1985 Lambert and Woodcock, 1996 Wells, 1985)


    Based on banding recaptures, broadbills are estimated to live at least 6 years in the wild. The oldest recorded bird in captivity was 19 years old. (Bruce, 2003 )


    Broadbills tend to be resident species. However, they commonly make altitudinal movements as seasons change and in dry seasons they may move beyond their normal range in search of food. A few species are nomadic and move around in search of fruiting trees generally fruit-eating species are more nomadic than insectivores. Broadbills tend to show crepuscular activity patterns.

    Although they are frequently found in pairs, broadbills also tend to be quite gregarious and are often found in small feeding flocks. Groups are not normally larger than 25 individuals. Broadbills seem to be territorial during the breeding season and their display flights may serve as both breeding and territorial displays. They may also defend small patches of fruit.

    • Key Behaviors
    • arboreal
    • flies
    • glides
    • crepuscular
    • motile
    • nomadic
    • sedentary
    • solitary
    • territorial
    • social

    Communication and Perception

    Broadbills are not known for having melodic or complex songs. They have a variety of calls usually described as whistles, rattles, trills, squeaks or screams. They call most often during the early morning and late afternoon. Calls are used in courtship, as alarm signals and for contact between mates. Broadbills often call more frequently when in groups. Members of the genus Smithornis have stiff outer primary feathers that make a buzzing sound (or wing trill) during display flights. The buzz is often louder than their calls and can be heard from 60 meters away. The wing buzz is used in courtship and territorial defense.

    Broadbills also communicate using a variety of mating and territorial displays. Green broadbills (Calyptomena viridis) have a particularly notable spinning display. (Bruce, 2003 Campbell and Lack, 1985 Wells, 1985)

    • Communication Channels
    • visual
    • acoustic
    • Perception Channels
    • visual
    • tactile
    • acoustic
    • chemical

    Food Habits

    Most broadbills are insectivores. They catch insects while flying, glean them from vegetation or dart out from perches in a manner similar to flycatchers (family Muscicapidae). They are opportunistic feeders, and commonly eat Orthoptera (grasshoppers and relatives), Coleoptera (beetles), Hemiptera (true bugs and relatives), Hymenoptera (wasps, bees and ants) and Isoptera (termites). Less frequently they will also eat Diplopoda (millipedes), Araneae (spiders), snails (Gastropoda), crabs (Decapoda), tree frogs (Anura), lizards ( Sauria ) and fish (Actinopterygii). Three broadbill species are frugivores and their bill structure reflects the dietary differences. The frugivorous species lack the wide bill of the insectivores, but maintain the wide gape. Because of this modification they are not able to easily manipulate the fruit with their bills and so they are forced to eat relatively soft fruits and/or to swallow the fruit whole. Figs are an important food source for fruit-eating broadbills. Frugivores will often catch insects to feed their young during the breeding season. (Bruce, 2003 Campbell and Lack, 1985 Lambert and Woodcock, 1996 Wells, 1985)


    Nests are built hanging from small branches and extend over open areas, often over water. This is thought to be an adaptation to deter mammalian and reptilian predators. Sometimes nests are also built in thorny trees or near wasps and bees that presumably provide some protection to the birds. Adults will feign injury to draw predators away from their nest. (Bruce, 2003 )

    Ecosystem Roles

    Broadbills play an important part in controlling invertebrate populations throughout their range. They also aid in seed dispersal. Broadbills are also hosts to parasitic cuckoos (family Cuculidae). (Bruce, 2003 )

    Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

    Broadbills disperse seeds of plants that are eaten by humans. Broadbills themselves are also eaten by humans. Because of their colorful appearance, they are sometimes sold in the pet trade and are sought out in the wild by tourists. They also play an important part in controlling invertebrate populations throughout their range. (Bruce, 2003 )

    Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

    There are no known adverse affects of broadbills on humans.

    Conservation Status

    Broadbills live in lowland rainforest that is rapidly disappearing. The loss of habitat due to increases in agriculture combined with their poor ability to adapt to disturbance leaves broadbills in a vulnerable position. The IUCN lists three species of broadbill as vulnerable (visayan broadbill ( Eurylaimus samarensis ), wattled broadbill (Sarcophanops steerii) and Grauer’s broadbill (Pseudocalyptomena graueri)) and three as near threatened (Hose’s broadbill (Calyptomena hosii), green broadbill (Calyptomena viridis) and black-and-yellow broadbill (Eurylaimus ochromalus)). (Campbell and Lack, 1985 IUCN, 2002 Lambert and Woodcock, 1996)


    Alaine Camfield (author), Animal Diversity Web.

    Kari Kirschbaum (editor), Animal Diversity Web.


    living in sub-Saharan Africa (south of 30 degrees north) and Madagascar.

    uses sound to communicate

    living in landscapes dominated by human agriculture.

    young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.

    Referring to an animal that lives in trees tree-climbing.

    having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.

    an animal that mainly eats meat

    uses smells or other chemicals to communicate

    helpers provide assistance in raising young that are not their own

    humans benefit economically by promoting tourism that focuses on the appreciation of natural areas or animals. Ecotourism implies that there are existing programs that profit from the appreciation of natural areas or animals.

    animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.

    parental care is carried out by females

    union of egg and spermatozoan

    A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.

    forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.

    an animal that mainly eats fruit

    An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.

    An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.

    fertilization takes place within the female's body

    offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).

    parental care is carried out by males

    Having one mate at a time.

    having the capacity to move from one place to another.

    the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.

    generally wanders from place to place, usually within a well-defined range.

    found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.

    reproduction in which eggs are released by the female development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.

    the business of buying and selling animals for people to keep in their homes as pets.

    having more than one female as a mate at one time

    rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.

    Referring to something living or located adjacent to a waterbody (usually, but not always, a river or stream).

    scrub forests develop in areas that experience dry seasons.

    breeding is confined to a particular season

    reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female

    one of the sexes (usually males) has special physical structures used in courting the other sex or fighting the same sex. For example: antlers, elongated tails, special spurs.

    associates with others of its species forms social groups.

    uses touch to communicate

    defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement

    the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.

    uses sight to communicate

    breeding takes place throughout the year


    Bruce, M. 2003. Family Eurylaimidae. J del Hoyo, A Elliott, D Christie, eds. Handbook of the Birds of the World , Vol. 8. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions.

    Campbell, B., E. Lack. 1985. A Dictionary of Birds . Vermillion: Buteo Books.

    Dickinson, E. 2003. The Howard and Moore Complete Checklist of Birds of the World, 3rd edition . London: Christopher Helm.

    Gill, F. 1995. Ornithology, Second Edition . New York: W.H. Freeman and Company.

    IUCN, 2002. "The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species" (On-line). Accessed September 19, 2003 at

    Lambert, F., M. Woodcock. 1996. Pittas, Broadbills and Asities . Sussex: Pica Press.

    Sibley, C., J. Ahlquist. 1990. Phylogeny and Classification of Birds, A study in Molecular Evolution . New Haven: Yale University Press.

    Wells, D. 1985. Broadbills. Pp. 306-307 in C Perrins, A Middleton, eds. The Encyclopedia of Birds . New York: Facts on File Publications.

    Characters / The Old Guard

    Though each immortal is a unique individual, they do have a few commonalities.

    • Action Heroes: All of them are this to various degrees. Andy's been fighting for the longest, but Joe, Nicky, Nile, and Booker were all proficient fighters even before they acquired their immortality.
    • Adaptational Attractiveness: The main characters' attractiveness in the comic ranges from moderately above average to outright Gonk. In the film, they're all played by absolutely stunning actors.
    • Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: Andy, Nicky, and Joe were all born and trained in a time before the invention of guns, and as such they each carry a bladed weapon with them in combat.
    • Badass Crew: It seems as though one of the prerequisites for immortality is to be some form of soldier or warrior &mdash all the immortals were notable soldiers or part of one of the most powerful fighting forces of their time, such as the crusader armies, Napoleon's forces, or the US Marine Corps &mdash and with hundreds more years of fighting together they have all become brutally efficient and work together like a well oiled machine.
    • Badass Family: Of the Family of Choice variety. They're all brilliant soldiers, and they've spent hundreds of years being each other's found family.
    • Been There, Shaped History: The immortals spend a hefty chunk of their time involving themselves in human conflicts, trying to help out those in need where they can. Copley's huge board shows only a small fraction of their effects on human history.
    • Cultured Warrior: They are all hyper-competent warriors, but are also shown to have an appreciation for the finer things in life: Booker is excited by a first edition copy of Don Quixote, Andy can identify the geographic origin of a piece of baklava from a single bite, Joe is an extremely skilled artist, and all of them are eloquent and philosophical, especially Nicky. Even newly-immortal Nile shows she fits right in when she recognizes a Rodin sculpture on sight.
    • Establishing Character Moment: When the team is first seen together at the hotel in Marrakesh, their love and affection for one another as well as their individual personalities are quickly shown:
      • Andy identifies the ingredients and geographic origin of a piece of baklava with a single bite, establishing that she is the most experienced and well-travelled of the team furthermore, she is reluctant to accept Copley's job, as she has become so disillusioned with the world that she doesn't believe what they do matters any more.
      • Nicky is the quietest of the team, showing his affection for Andy through a long, tight hug and a gift rather than words. But when Andy is reluctant to meet with Copley, he is the one to point out that they can "do some good" and that this is what they do.
      • Joe lifts Andy off her feet when he hugs her, and laughs loudly when Nicky loses his bet with Booker, which shows that he wears his heart on his sleeve.
      • One of the first things Booker does is add alcohol to his tea. He is also the only one who doesn't hug Andy, showing his emotional distance and hinting at his eventual betrayal .
      • Andy, who is thousands of years old, contrasts with the newest immortal Nile, who is in her 20s.
      • Joe and Nicky, for whom Living Forever Is Awesome because their immortality allowed them to find redemption from their religious hatreds and eventually fall profoundly in love, versus Andy and Booker, whose immortality comes with unbearable loss.
      • Joe and Nicky themselves make a Red Oni, Blue Oni pair.
      • In the comic, Nile does also speak French and Spanish, so she is on her way to being an omniglot.

      The oldest of the immortals, and the leader of the group. She's profoundly cynical, having become convinced over her very long life that nothing she's done has ever made anything better or made any sort of difference.

      • Action Heroine: Even among a group of Action Heroes, she stands out, since she'd been doing saving humans in perilous distress even when she was alone. She was always more than willing to throw herself into danger to save the day, because she knows nothing could kill her anyways. She keeps going even after years of becoming disillusioned with humanity and losing her immortality .
      • Adaptational Intelligence: Of a technological sort&mdashshe's no idiot in the comic, but she's profoundly unused to technology and barely knows how to use an old flip-phone, let alone a smart one. Indeed, the comic has Nile realizing Booker is the mole when he's able to "gather" information off a laptop inside an underground bunker as Andy doesn't grasp that "just because you have a computer doesn't automatically mean you're on the Internet". In the film, she is much more tech-savvy, easily using a smartphone and modern weapons.
      • An Axe to Grind: She uses a labrys (a double-headed axe) in battle, in addition to her guns. When Merrick gets a hold of her labrys, she settles for using a regular fireman's axe to fight mooks until she gets it back.
      • Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: Like all the pre-gunpowder immortals, she tends use an old bladed weapon instead of or alongside firearms &mdash in her case, a labrys battle-axe.
      • Been There, Shaped History: Andy assumes nothing she does matters, but Copley's research shows that she has saved numerous lives who in turn aid others or have descendants who do, such as a woman whose daughter created a groundbreaking diabetes treatment or the man who prevented a false alarm incident from escalating into a full nuclear war.

      A veteran of the Crusades, during which he met and fell in love with Nicky after the two killed each other multiple times.

      • Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: Like all the pre-gunpowder immortals, he tends use an old bladed weapon instead of or alongside firearms &mdash in his case, an Arabian scimitar.
      • Anguished Declaration of Love: Although they're already together, and have been for hundreds of years, Joe gives one of these about Nicky to some homophobic guards who've got them tied up. It's quite something.

      A Genovese crusader who became immortal when fighting in the Middle East, where he met and fell in love with Joe.

      • Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: Like all the pre-gunpowder immortals, he tends use an old bladed weapon instead of or alongside firearms &mdash in his case, a European longsword.
      • Armor-Piercing Response: Nicky makes something of a specialty of this, as the only character able to verbally rattle both Kozak and Merrick.
      • Battle Couple: He and Joe are lovers and mercenary comrades-in-arms &mdash and have been for a good few hundred years, too.
      • Beware the Nice Ones: He may be the kindest, most open one of the group, but he's still a centuries old warrior who can tear through a group of heavily armed soldiers like a hot knife through butter. He also manages to calmly and cold-bloodedly intimidate Merrick when the latter goes into a villainous rant.

      • When Merrick hurts Joe in front of him, Nicky becomes crazed with anger and needs to be held back by several soldiers.
      • During the fight with Keane, Nicky's cool-headedness goes out the window when he sees Keane attacking Joe. He hurls himself at Keane in desperation to stop him, giving up any sort of combat advantage and getting (temporarily) killed as a result.

      A French soldier who fought under Napoleon. He's the youngest of the group, a mere 200-some years old, and haunted by the memory of the sons and lovers he has lost.

      • The Alcoholic: He regularly takes swigs of liquor from a hip flask, and in the end is seen to have been drowning his grief in alcohol .
      • The Baby of the Bunch: He's the youngest immortal until Nile comes along, a mere two centuries or so in age compared to their millennia of existence. Inverted in the physical sense, because according to his Twitter character announcement, he's physically 42, with only Andy (age unspecified, but played by then 45-year-old Charlize Theron) being physically older.
      • Blessed with Suck: Booker regards immortality as this in general, but he is also in a unique position on the team as the only one besides Nile who never met Quynh before she was thrown into the ocean. Because the immortals only stop dreaming of each other when they meet, this suggests that he's been dreaming of her endless drowning for 200 YEARS.
      • Driven to Suicide: His motivation for betraying the team. He saw all three of his sons die, and the guilt has become too much for him to bear. He figures that if Merrick can learn why they can't die, perhaps he can learn a way to kill them.
      • Easily Forgiven: Only by Nile for his Face–Heel Turn. Andy even tells him that she was gonna let him off with an apology.
      • Face–Heel Turn: He betrays the team because he wants to die and hopes medical science will find a way .
      • Feeling Their Age: While the youngest immortal besides Nile, he's being worn down by his experiences and consumed by guilt about living while his sons died .
      • Heel–Face Turn: Once he realizes that Andy is mortal, and that Merrick is willing to torture his friends in the name of science, he's firmly back to fighting with the gang .
      • Informed Attribute: Nile calls him "the brains of the operation," and while he is intelligent, he doesn't seem to be above and beyond the rest of the team, who are all philosophical, well-spoken polyglots.
      • My God, What Have I Done?: Once he realises Andy is no longer healing he seems to realise the gravity of what his betrayal could do to the people who have been his family for nearly 200 years.
      • Outliving One's Offspring: He outlived all three of his sons, and that fact still haunts him.
      • Regretful Traitor: He truly regrets giving up the team, but he's so tired of living that he considers possibly dying an even trade .
      • The Smart Guy: Downplayed. He's shown tracking down Copley with nothing but a laptop, and Nile refers to him as "the brains of the operation," but given that he was working with Copley all along , his actual skill level is unknown. Given that the rest of the team trusts him without question, he must be pretty good at his job, though.
      • Survivor Guilt: He's tormented by the memory of his sons dying.
      • This Is My Name on Foreign: Booker's surname means "the book" in French. He also gets excited about books.

      A US Marine who discovers her immortality when her throat is slashed in Afghanistan, Nile becomes the immortals' newest recruit. Throughout the film, she struggles to accept the burden that's been thrust on her and the fact that she will likely never see her family again.

      • Action Girl: She's a trained Marine who was deployed in Afghanistan. She graduates to Action Heroine by the end of the film.
      • All of the Other Reindeer: When she comes back to life from a slashed throat without even a scar, her fellow soldiers are understandably freaked out and start ostracizing her.
      • The Baby of the Bunch: On two levels. First, Nile is the youngest immortal, only experiencing her first death at the beginning of the film. The other level is that she's the only immortal in her twenties (26 to be exact), while the others are all in their thirties or forties. Andy even calls her this when she sees Joe's drawing of her.

      Grow Wild

      There are around 1,600 species of wildflower in Britain and Ireland. But don’t worry, we aren’t going to list them all here!

      This page focuses on the wildflowers that Grow Wild distributes through our seed kits, or has distributed in the past.

      These are a colourful and easy to grow mix of UK native-origin wildflowers. They’re researched and sourced by experts at the UK Native Seed Hub, which is part of Kew Science, in partnership with UK based seed suppliers.

      How long after sowing can I expect to see flowers?

      Our ‘Annual’ flowers put on a show in their first summer and quickly produce seed, dying in the process. These seeds then grow into new plants the following year. And so it goes on.

      While the ‘Perennial’ flowers in the mix will wait to burst into flower in their second summer - and carry on for many years beyond, too.

      The ‘Biennial’ flowers grow in their first year but don’t flower and produce seeds until their second year, although some occasionally defy convention by acting like annuals. After producing seeds, these plants usually die in the same way as an annual.

      Make sure you follow this advice

      Usage notice

      Grow Wild seeds are not to be used in or near natural areas. Find out why.

      Safety notice

      Sensible garden precautions should be followed when growing wildflowers, so refrain from eating any plant not known to be edible, wash hands after working in the garden and before eating or touching lips and eyes, and see that pets and children who cannot be entirely trusted not to consume vegetation are supervised.

      Grow Wild wildflowers

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      Agrimonia eupatoria

      Agrimony is commonly found along roadsides, woodland edges, field edges and other well-drained grassy places. It has a long history of medicinal use, deriving its name from Argemone, a term used in ancient Greece to describe plants believed to beneficial to the eyes. The burred seed are exceptionally well-adapted to grip onto the fur of passing animals, like natural Velcro.

      Autumn hawkbit

      Dandelion-like golden-yellow flowers appear from rosettes of leaves from June to October. The seeds are long and brown, attached to a parachute consisting of a single row of hairs.


      Betonicaofficinalis (perennial)

      The small clustered purple flowers and scalloped leaves of Betony are ideal for growing in damp, sunny or lightly shaded sites. It can sometimes be found growing in churchyards, where it was once believed to ward off evil spirits.

      Bird’s foot trefoil

      A common meadow wild flower, the name refers to its elongated seedpods, each with a hook at the tip that looks like a bird’s foot. Its nectar provides a valuable food source for insects and is often grown by beekeepers.

      Bladder campion

      Silene vulgaris(perennial)

      Bladder campion is named for the inflated ‘bladder’ at the base of each flower. The white flowers are clove-scented at night, attracting long-tongued moths able to reach deep into the flower tube.

      Burnet saxifrage


      A small, delicate plant found in well-drained, grassy places. Common names can be confusing – the divided leaves and wiry stems look like salad burnet, but this plant is a member of the carrot family and, strictly speaking, is neither a burnet nor a saxifrage.

      Common or lesser knapweed

      Thistle-like, vibrant-purple blooms, which reappear every year, once established. They provide a real burst of colour and attract bees and butterflies. Their seed heads provide food for birds.

      Corn or common poppy

      The classic poppy – vivid red with a near-black centre. It produces lots of seeds after flowering, which will germinate if the surrounding soil is disturbed. This means you may have poppies for years to come.

      Corn chamomile

      Also known as field chamomile, a mass of daisy-like white flowers with yellow centres appears on this plant from late May to September. The leaves, when crushed, give off a pleasant aroma.


      With attractive pinky purple flowers that are furled like a flag before they open, this hairy-stemmed wild flower is happy on most soils but grows best in a sunny, open spot.


      Sow these seeds in sunny, well-drained soil and pretty bright-blue flower heads will appear on long stalks during midsummer. Look out for the common blue butterfly that feeds on its nectar.

      Corn marigold

      Bold and bright, these yellow wildflowers pump out their sunny blooms for most of the summer. They look great in groups and produce a ready supply of nectar for pollinators.


      It’s not the most elegant of plant names - thought to derive from the old English for cow dung - but its delicate nodding yellow flowers are still a welcome sight in open grassland, and increasingly on roadsides, where it's been reintroduced.

      Crested dogs-tail

      Cynosuruscristatus (perennial)

      A characteristic grass of flower-rich meadows, crested dogs-tail is tough enough to crowd out weeds whilst still allowing your flowers to grow. Although quite short-lived, the unusual flat flower heads release huge quantities of seeds each year to keep the display going.

      Devil’s bit scabious

      According to folklore, the devil was furious at this plant’s powerful medicinal properties, and bit off the roots – hence the stubby rootstock. The violet-blue flowers look like a pincushion and provide a good source of nectar, particularly to the marsh fritillary butterfly.

      Field scabious

      Dainty lilac pompom-like flowers bloom on tall stems between July and September, which are attractive to pollinating bees. Their stems are hairy and similar in texture to scabby skin.


      If you try fitting one of these flowers over one of your fingertips, you’ll soon see why the scientific name of this cottage-garden favourite means ‘finger-like’. Its foliage can be deadly poisonous, but in controlled doses, can be used medicinally.

      Garlic mustard

      Alliariapetiolata (biennial)

      Typical of hedges and woodlands, garlic mustard enjoys damp, shady conditions. It flowers early, from April onwards, and has garlic-scented leaves and flowers.

      Giant bellflower

      Campanulalatifolia (perennial)

      Tall spires of purple, bell-shaped flowers make an impressive display in damp woodlands, riversides, hedgerows and gardens.

      Great mullein

      Verbascum thapsus (biennial)

      Great mullein is unmistakable, with enormous yellow flower spikes growing up to two metres tall and setting vast quantities of seed. The large furry leaves are a feature too, providing food for caterpillars including the yellow and black-spotted mullein moth.

      Greater stitchwort

      Stellaria holostea (perennial)

      A pretty spring flower of country lanes and hedgerows, this species was once believed to cure stitches caused by too much exercise. Seed is dispersed with a noisy pop, giving it the alternative common name of ‘popgun’.

      Hedge bedstraw

      Similar to Lady’s bedstraw, but bigger and tougher. The tiny white flowers that bloom on long stems from June to September develop into smooth black fruits after being pollinated by flies.

      Hedge woundwort

      Stachys sylvatica(perennial)

      A vigorous perennial, thriving in a range of conditions including damp, fertile and lightly shaded hedgerows and verges. The furry leaves have a pungent, astringent smell when crushed.

      Imperforate St John's wort

      Hypericum maculatum (perennial)

      A hairless square-stemmed plant with golden-yellow flowers, typically with five petals and black dots. It likes heavy, damp soils and is often seen in flower along roadsides and woodland edges between June and August.

      Lady's bedstraw

      A sprawling plant that will return every year. It produces golden-yellow flowers throughout summer, which provide food for hummingbird hawk-moths and elephant hawk-moths.

      Meadow buttercup

      Pretty yellow buttercups gently sway on top of delicate stems. They really enjoy moist soil, although will put on some kind of show in most conditions.


      This moisture-loving plant puts on a display of fluffy-white flowers in high summer. It self-seeds if it’s in a plot it likes, meaning if you’re lucky it will increase year after year.

      Musk Mallow

      Malva moschata(perennial)

      The pale pink flowers and finely cut leaves of musk mallow make a beautiful display in rough grasslands and roadsides. The flowers are attractive to pollinators too, helped at night by the musky fragrance that gives the plant its name.

      Nettle-leaved bellflower

      Campanula trachelium (perennial)

      Large bell-shaped blue flowers make this a beautiful wildflower of hedgerows and woodland edges. The hairy leaves do resemble nettles, but they don’t sting!

      Night-scented catchfly

      Silene noctiflora(annual)

      This sticky, hairy annual species was traditionally found amongst arable crops and in cultivated or disturbed ground. The flowers are tightly closed during the day, but open at night to release a strong scent and attract night-flying insects.

      Oxeye daisy

      Similar in appearance to the daisies you’d find in a lawn, although with bigger flowers and taller stems. Their white petals with yellow centres put on a show from June to August. They’re loved by pollinating insects.

      Perforate St John's wort

      This medicinal plant has round stems with two raised ridges and golden-yellow flowers that bloom from June to September. The ‘perforate’ name comes from the leaves, which have distinctive translucent glands which look like holes when held up to the light.


      Primula vulgaris (perennial)

      One of our earliest flowering wildflowers and a delightful sight in hedgerows and woodlands in spring. The pale yellow flowers are sweetly-scented, well worth getting on your hands and knees to enjoy!

      Purple loosestrife

      Lythrum salicaria(perennial)

      Pollinated by long-tongued bees and butterflies and often found in bog gardens or pond margins. Candle-like spikes of pink to purple flowers appear on tall stems in midsummer.

      Quaking grass

      Briza media (perennial)

      This beautiful grass thrives in infertile and preferably dry soil. The purple-tinged flower heads hang on delicate wiry stems, ‘quaking’ gently in the breeze.

      Ragged robin

      Silene flos-cuculi(perennial)

      A close relative of common red campion, this species is distinguished by a profusion of ragged pink flowers. They enjoy damp sites, and are often found near ponds and streams.

      Red campion

      Silene dioica(perennial)

      The vivid pink flowers of this delicate plant really perk up the mix. It likes a bit of shade and moist soil, so you’re likely to see it thrive if your growing conditions offer this.

      Red clover

      Trifolium pratense (perennial)

      Less vigorous than its white cousin, red clover is a familiar wildflower of meadows and pastures everywhere. It is a rich provider of nectar and pollen, of particular value to our many native bumblebees.

      Red dead-nettle

      Lamium purpurea

      This common and easily-grown annual is one of the first flowers to open in spring, providing nectar for bumble bees and other early-flying insects. The seed have a special adaptation to allow them to be picked up and carried by ants.

      Ribwort plantain

      Plantago lanceolata(perennial)

      Not the prettiest wild flower, but it’s great for wildlife. It can become a bit rampant, but it’s an important part of the UK’s grassland so worth nurturing.

      Salad burnet

      Poterium sanguisorba(perennial)

      A tough groundcover plant on infertile, chalky soils, salad burnet also grows well in gardens and pots. The leaves are cucumber-scented when crushed, with tiny deep-pink flowers held in dense drumsticks above the foliage.

      Scentless mayweed

      Tripleurospermum inodorum(annual)

      This annual is typical of cultivated and disturbed ground, with cheerful white and yellow daisies in mid to late summer. Unlike other similar species, they produce no scent when crushed.


      Prunella vulgaris(perennial)

      This purplish blue-flowered perennial was once an important therapeutic plant – its leaves were crushed and used to dress skin wounds and syrup made with the flowers and leaves was thought to cure sore throats.

      Square-stalked St John’s wort

      Hypericum tetrapterum(perennial)

      Also known as St Peter’s wort, this moisture-loving plant has distinctive winged square stems and pale-yellow five-petalled flowers that bloom from June to September.

      Sweet vernal-grass

      Anthoxanthumodoratum (perennial)

      One of the first grasses to flower in old meadows and pastures, sweet vernal grass contains high levels of vanilla-scented coumarin, giving freshly-cut hay its characteristic sweet smell.


      Tanecetum vulgare (perennial)

      Tansy is one native wildflowers that has long found a place in our gardens, with finely divided foliage, bright yellow flowers and a host of medicinal uses. The whole plant is powerfully aromatic when crushed, and although attractive to pollinators has traditionally been used as an insect repellent.

      Tufted vetch

      Vicia cracca(perennial)

      Showy violet-purple pea-like flowers appear on long stems that scramble through vegetation, using branched tendrils growing from the tips of its leaves. It’s particularly popular with bumblebees.

      Upright hedge-parsley

      Torillis japonica (biennial)

      Often mistaken for common cow parsley, upright hedge parsley flowers later in the summer and has more upright stems without dark blotches. The flowers are a magnet for pollinating insects, including hoverflies and small beetles.


      Echium vulgare(biennial)

      This eye-catching, bristly-stemmed plant stands out on chalky grasslands and clifftops thanks to its vivid bright blue flowers, which bloom from June to September. It’s also a great food source for butterflies, bumblebees and honey bees.

      White campion

      Silene latifolia(perennial)

      This hairy and often sticky annual or short-lived perennial has white flowers, each with five deeply-notched petals. They can cross-pollinate with red campion to produce a beautiful pink hybrid.

      White clover

      Trifolium repens (perennial)

      A familiar sight in lawns, meadows and road verges, white clover provides a banquet of nectar for pollinating insects. It provides rich grazing for farm animals too, so has been sown by farmers for hundreds of years.

      White dead-nettle

      Lamium album(perennial)

      At first glance, this plant looks like a stinging nettle, but if it has large white flowers, the leaves won’t sting you. The nectar at the base of the tube-like flowers provides an important food source for bumblebees.

      Wild basil

      Clinopodium vulgare (perennial)

      A surprisingly tough herb, able to compete with vigorous plants in open grasslands, scrub, woodland edges, hedgerows and other places, usually on dry, chalky soil. Unlike culinary basil, which originates in southern Asia, our native plant is hairy with tiers of beautiful pink flowers around the stem. The leaves are pleasantly scented – whether they smell of basil is a matter of opinion!

      Wild carrot

      Daucus carota(biennial)

      The mostly off-white, flat, umbrella-like heads of flowers are pretty, but don’t expect a bumper crop from these. The roots smell of carrots but, unlike the cultivated ones, are thin, wiry and woody.

      Wild marjoram

      Origanum vulgare(perennial)

      Loved by butterflies, this popular kitchen herb has oval leaves and dark purple buds which burst in to clusters of sweet-smelling pink and purple flowers. Sow it in a well-drained, sunny spot.

      Wild thyme / common thyme

      Thymuspolytrichus (perennial)

      Like the familiar culinary thyme, which hails from the Mediterranean, our native thyme is pungently scented and enjoys baking in hot, dry and sunny sites. The pink flower spikes are attractive too, and a magnet for pollinating insects.

      Wood sage

      Teucrium scorodonia (perennial)

      Wood sage enjoys lightly-shaded sites where its soft downy leaves can spread across the ground without too much disturbance. The leaves are slightly scented when crushed, with small spikes of yellow-green flowers in late summer.


      Achillea millefolium(perennial)

      This hardy plant is found frequently in meadows, grasslands, along roadsides and among hedges. It has dark green, feathery leaves and clusters of delicate white flower heads which give off a strong perfume when in bloom – between June and August.

      Yellow rattle

      Rhinanthus minor(annual)

      If you turn this unusual-looking yellow flower upside down, the upper lip looks like a nose, hence its name, ‘nose flower’ in Greek. The flower base later forms a capsule filled with loose, rattling seeds when ripe.

      A Debt to the Dead

      Back before I dropped out of pre-med, I had to take an advanced biology class and being a little interested in the subject, I took Gross Anatomy. If you didn’t know, this a class whose lab work consists of dissecting a cadaver. Or several. There’s lots of class work that goes along with it. Lots of studying. Our professor had worked out some deal so that we could have multiple cadavers in the class, but we had to partner up and then cycle through the available cadavers each week towards the end of the semester.

      The guy I was partnered up with for lab times, Cliff, was apparently horrible at the class work. Admittedly, it was a difficult class with a difficult professor at a difficult and prestigious school, but he was just horrible at the class work. But, in the lab, he was a genius.

      At least it seemed that way at first.

      As a part of the course, maybe to make it more interesting, maybe due to the source of the bodies, part of our labs involved determining cause of death as if we were criminal forensic investigators or some such. It was kind of cool sounding in class, but during lab time it was a different story. Each of the dozen corpses had been killed in a different way. Some of them were hard to look at. Oh, there were one or two who had an obvious cause of death. Or at least, so it seemed. A broken neck for one, a bullet hole in the head for the other.

      Alice, the one with the bullet hole, was our first cadaver. I thought it was easy. I mean, there’s a bullet hole, there’s a partially shattered skull. Shot. Right? I was already writing it up when Cliff looks up from the body. “Broken heart,” he says. I don’t think I said anything. I just stared at him, at the bullet hole, back at Cliff. He ran his hand over her lips, her throat, down between her breasts. “She argued with him. Had been drinking. He left, she fell, hit her head.” He pointed to a discoloration on her temple. “Her head was pounding, she felt like her heart was breaking. She shot herself. But by that point, she thought of herself as dead. She died of a broken heart.”

      I dropped my clipboard and notes. Cliff jumped, startled. We had this argument about his conclusions and how he was jumping to them. Cliff asserted he was right. He wound up storming out. He got an A on the lab. I got a C.

      The next lab we had, I let Cliff have the first go. He touched the body like a lover. Caressing it, lifting the cadaver’s hand, smelling its fingernails, prodding its chest. He said that it was a car accident. That the guy had been smoking, had dropped hot ash in his lap, swerved. His chest was crushed by the steering wheel. This time, I wrote down every word Cliff said. Or at least I tried. I had to fudge part of it, fill in what I remembered later. Then find evidence on the body to support the claims. We both got an As.

      On and on it went, cadaver after cadaver, week after week. Cliff was like some modern day, totally creepy, Sherlock Holmes of dead bodies. He’d spend five minutes with one and then tell me everything that happened to the body in its last moments. It was strange, but we were totally acing our lab portion. Half-way through, though, the professor brought us in for a conference. Asked us if we’d been talking to someone at the city morgue or the police station. I think he thought that we were cheating somehow. But I backed up all of our work. After all, I’d found evidence on all the bodies to back up everything we’d put down in our lab reports. Cliff didn’t say a word. Just stared at the floor the whole time, like he was angry or embarrassed or something.

      Afterwards, I confronted him. He wouldn’t tell me anything at first. Wouldn’t tell me how he figured these things out. Only said something about it being a duty. A debt to the dead. He had to make sure their stories were true because most of them would never get to speak for themselves again. At the time, I thought all of that was metaphor. A way of rationalizing things, a noble sounding excuse.

      As the semester started winding to a close, Cliff was in worse and worse shape. He was practically bombing out of most of his classes, or so I heard. In class, he’d seem listless, staring at the board or listening to the lecture and fidgeting in his seat. In lab, though, he’d come alive. He spent more time looking over each of the cadavers. He’d tell me things about them as if they were former friends of his. Like, the guy with the two broken legs? Cliff told me about the time when the guy was fifteen and stole his dad’s boat to go fishing with a friend of his. How the two of them had spent the day drinking and then fell asleep in the boat, only to wake up after the thing had drifted and grounded itself the next state over. But the corpse was clearly an old man and there was no way that Cliff had been his boating friend. It got creepy, but at the same time, Cliff was so suddenly open and friendly, talkative and extroverted that it was hard to ignore him.

      Then, the week before our exams, we were on to our last cadaver. The man with the broken neck. Again, for some reason, I thought it would be easy.

      Cliff spent a long time with the body. So long that I started to get nervous. Had his creepy gift given up the ghost? I stepped out of the lab room to… I don’t know. Get a drink, take a leak, walk off some steam.

      When I got back, Cliff was standing by the shuttered windows. He was crying. Hell, he looked like someone who had been drinking for hours and then been punched in the crotch. His skin was sallow, he had dark circles under his eyes, and he was sweating profusely. There was the smell of stale vomit coming from one of the trash bins. I asked Cliff what was up. I mean, something was obviously amiss. First week students puke up in the cadaver room, not end of semester ones. Cliff pointed to our last lab project. The guy with the hangman’s neck. “H-h-he’s a monster,” Cliff sobbed. I looked at the body. I mean, I took some time and really looked at it.

      The neck was broken. Obvious. There were multiple lacerations on the sides where the skin was torn. Not cut the edges weren’t even. But they were all small, grouped in sets of two to four. The lower extremities were discolored probably from post-mortem pooling of the blood. His penis, however. Well, his whole crotch area, was slightly disfigured. A botched circumcision as an infant, perhaps? Some sort of accident as a child, maybe?

      I thought I was starting to piece something together when suddenly Cliff spoke from right behind me. “He was a monster. A molester. A predator. He hung himself rather than let the cops catch him. But he regretted it. He wanted to be famous. More than the power or the thrill.” Cliff stopped, retching again, then wiping his mouth on his sleeve. “More than those things, he wanted to be famous.”

      “What about his… uh… victims,” I asked.

      Cliff’s eyes were wild. Terrified. Awful. “They’re in there with him,” he whispered. He was shaking, trembling. He clenched his teeth and shut his eyes.

      “You told me you owe the dead a debt,” I said to Cliff, putting my hands on his shoulders. “That you have to tell their stories? You have to be a voice for them when they can’t?” He nodded, sobbing. “Then, maybe, in this case, you should keep silent. Silence his voice,” I jerked my head towards the body behind me. “So that his victims’ voices fade away as well.” Cliff nodded, tears and snot running down his face. He started sobbing again.

      Then he slumped to the floor. “I can’t,” he wailed. “I can’t keep quiet. I, I owe them. It’s a duty. A debt.”

      I nodded, turning away from him. I couldn’t watch him any longer. I crushed his skull with a metal tray. Made it look like he’d slipped and hit his head on the dissecting table. Got rid of the evidence.

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      What is this flat dry stick-like leaf that rattles? - Biology

      By Jane SpottedBird

      A paper presented as part of the requirements for a Biology
      Special Problems Course

      Prepared For
      Dr. Carl Lieb, Department of Biological Sciences,
      The University of Texas at El Paso

      Edited by A. H. Harris

      An Informal, Non-referreed Electronic Publication of the Centennial Museum

      February 2000

      Accounts of Species

      Acacia greggii . Mimosaceae.

      Common Names : Catclaw, catclaw acacia, "O'-opat" (Pima).


      1) Papago : Wood used to make prayer sticks.

      1) Papago : Wood used to manufacture pole tops used to dislodge saguaro fruits as weaving material for curved structure construction twigs used in cradleboard construction a 1-inch long pod utilized as scraper in deerskin curing process coiled basket construction material branches wrapped into a hoop to be used as an implement to hold a deerhead hunting "mask" to the hunter's head.

      2) Pima : Utilized for basket construction, particularly granary baskets, some as large as 6 feet tall.

      1) Pima and Yuma : Both used the seeds either fresh or dried bitter pods were parboiled to remove or reduce the bitterness, then eaten fresh or dried and later made into a flour which was then made into cakes or mush. For the Pima, the beans were eaten in precontact times.

      1) Papago : A. greggii buds and blossoms were dried and kept by the women as prized perfume sachets.

      Castetter, E. F., and W. H. Bell. 1942. Pima and Papago Indian agriculture. University New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.

      Castetter, E. F., and R. M. Underhill. 1935. The ethnobiology of the Papago. University of New Mexico Bulletin, Oct.

      Ebeling, W. 1985. Handbook of Indian foods and fibers of arid America. University California Press, Los Angles.

      Russel, F. 1985. The Pima Indians. University Arizona Press, Tucson.

      Common Name: "Aot"(Pima), mescal.


      1) Apache
      2) Papago
      3) Pima
      All three of these tribes gathered the mescal heads and roasted them in a pit for 24-36 hours. First the pit was dug, then a fire was built. When the fire had died, down stones were added, then the mescal heads were cooked upon this. Mescal heads were eaten alone or with a pinole, and a syrup was boiled until thick and black from the juice of the mescal heads.

      Russel, F. 1985. The Pima Indians. University Arizona Press, Tucson.

      Common Name: Lechuguilla, ixtle (Spanish).


      1) Papago: Used fibers to make a twisted cordage.

      2) Archaeological site: Frightful Cave in Coahuilla: Ixtle cordage, sandals, and burial sticks were found dating back a couple of thousand years.

      Castetter, E. F., and R. M. Underhill. 1935. The ethnobiology of the Papago. University New Mexico Bulletin, Oct.

      Worthington, R. D. 1998. Syllabus of "Plants in Southwest cultures", Biology 3341. Unpublished paper. El Paso, Texas.

      Common Names: Century plant, mescal (Spanish), "kwa ni"(Hopi).


      1) Hopi: The stalk and fibers were used ceremoniously in firemaking.

      1) Havasupai: They roasted the young stalks baked buds were mixed with water to produce mescal.

      2) Hopi: Received pit-baked leaves and buds as trade items from the Havasupai.

      3) Tarahumara: Cooked the agave juice to make mescal (wine).

      4) Mescalero Apache: Baked the agave hearts in special stone pits.


      1) The Mescalero Apache derived their name from this plant (Spanish gift).

      2) Mescal trade ancient commerce origins in Cordova Cave 300-11000 C.E.

      3) The Havasupai altered the agave flower bud growth by placing stones on them.

      Ebeling, W. 1986. Handbook of Indian foods and fibers of arid America. University California Press, Los Angeles.

      Farrer, C. R. 1991. Living life's circle: Mescalero Apache cosmovision. University New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.

      Schlett, S. F. 1995. The ethnobotanic practice of the Hopi people. Thesis, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso.

      Common Names: Mexican oregano, estafiate (Spanish), "yztau hiatl" (Aztec), "Zizim" (Maya).


      1) Maya: The plant was boiled and used for pleurisy as a hot application a decoction was used for coughs, asthma, and for diarrhea. Additionally, a poultice of this plant was placed directly on the abdomen for colic.

      2) Spanish New Mexicans: A tea from this plant that was used for stomach aches, side pains, and small amounts were given to babies for diarrhea and vomiting. Older people would sometimes make larger quantities of the tea and bathe in it.

      Curtin, L. S. M. 1997. Healing herbs of the Rio Grande: Traditional medicine of the Southwest (Michael Moore, ed.). Western Edge Press, Sante Fe.

      Common Names: Saltbush.


      1) Pima: Used the branches of the saltbush to cover (shade) tobacco seeds.

      1) Hopi: Fresh greens boiled with meat for flavoring.

      2) Papago: Small greens used fresh as food.

      3) Pima: Nutritious meal made from the parched seeds of various saltbushes, the leaves and young shoots were used as fresh greens, and other food could be seasoned with the saltbush by boiling some of the greens in it.

      Castetter, E. F., and W. H. Bell. 1942. Pima and Papago Indian agriculture. University New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.

      Ebeling, W. 1986. Handbook of Indian foods and fibers of arid America. University California Press, Los Angeles.

      Common Names: Desert willow, "quaankish" (Cahuilla).


      1) Cahuilla: Wood used in house construction, in the making of granaries to store mesquite beans, acorns, and other foods. Wood used in bow construction, used as a frame to hold ollas, and the tree itself was comfortable shade and provided a nice camping area. The fibrous material of the bark used in making nets, shirts, and breechclouts, and the long limbs were used to reach high-up fruits and nuts.

      Bean, L. J., and K. S. Saubel. 1972. Temalpakh: Cahuilla Indian knowledge and usage of plants. Rubidoux Printing Company, Riverside.

      Common Names: Sotol, spoon plant, "umu k" (Papago).


      1) Kickapoo:Used this plant as cordage for sewing cattail mats and in tying saplings for housing construction.

      2) Papago: Dasylirion used for making extremely large, 6 by 3 foot sleeping mats also cradleboard mats, back mats for the carrying frame, and other basket construction. In addition to very large sleeping mats, they also constructed enclosure mats for storage of grain and for enclosing the rain-calling ceremonial area.

      3) Zuni: Utilized this plant in the construction of winnowing baskets.

      1) Papago: The flower stalks were eaten as greens, boiled or cooked buried in the ashes.

      Castetter, E. F., and W. H. Bell. 1942. Pima and Papago Indian agriculture. University New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.

      Castetter, E. F., and R. M. Underhill. 1935. The ethnobiology of the Papago. University New Mexico Bulletin, Oct.

      Ebeling, W. 1986. Handbook of Indian foods and fibers in arid America. University California Press, Los Angeles.

      Worthington, R. D. 1998. Syllabus of "Plants in Southwest cultures", Biology 3341. Unpublished paper. El Paso, Texas.

      Common Names: Indian tea, Mormon tea, Mexican tea, "tutut" (Cahuilla).


      1) Cahuilla: Used fresh or dry twigs and boiled for tea which was a very popular drink. Also, seeds ground into a meal which was then made into a mush.

      2) Panamint: Seeds ground into a flour which was then used to make bitter breads or cakes.

      3) Papago: Used this plant to make a tea.

      Castetter, E. F., and R. M. Underhill. 1935. The ethnobiology of the Papago. University New Mexico Bulletin, Oct.

      Eberling, W. 1986. Handbook of Indian foods and fibers of arid America. University California Press, Los Angeles.

      Common Names: Joint-fir, Mormon tea, Mexican tea, canutillo (Spanish: "little tube"), canutilla (Spanish: "Little reed"), tepopote (Spanish: "little straw"), popotillo, American ephedra.


      1) Pima: Made decoction from stems and used as an antiluetic (anti-syphilitic).

      2) Mescalero Apache: Made decoction from the entire plant and used as an antiblenorrhagic.

      3) Spanish New Mexicans: Decoction tea used to reduce fever and to relieve kidney pain. Also, used as a treatment to counteract venereal disease. The recipe is: First, boil a handful of the plant in a quart of water, then strain through a cloth. Second, drink one glass of this tea (hot) at least three times a day, about 1 hour before meals. Third, when the pain is gone, one must eat a chopped red onion three times before meals for approximately 6 to 8 days.

      1) Navajo: Used for a hot tea first the stems were roasted, then boiled.

      Curtin, L. S. M. 1997. Healing herbs of the Upper Rio Grande: Traditional medicine of the Southwest (Michael Moore, ed.). Western Edge Press, Sante Fe.

      Elmore, F. H. 1976. Shrubs and trees of the Southwest Uplands. Southwest Parks and Monument Association, Globe.

      Worthington, R. D. 1998. Syllabus of "Plants in Southwest cultures", Biology 3341. Unpublished paper. El Paso, Texas.

      Common Names: Mormon tea, green ephedra, joint fir.


      1) Navajo: Used the tops of the plant to boil into a cough medicine.


      1) Navajo: Used this plant for a light tan dye.

      Elmore, F. H. 1976. Shrubs and trees of the Southwest Uplands. Southwest Parks and Monument Association, Globe.

      Worthington, R. D. 1998. Syllabus of "Plants in Southwest cultures", Biology 3341. Unpublished paper. El Paso, Texas.

      Common Names: Apache plume, poñil (Spanish).


      1) San Ildefonso Pueblo: The women steeped the leaves of this plant in water until the leaves were softened, and then the hair was washed in it to promote growth.

      2) Spanish New Mexicans: The women boiled the roots to use as a final hair rinse to prevent hair from falling out.


      1) Some Spanish New Mexicans used this plant to counter "bewitchment" spells. The plumes were ground with sangre de venado, rock salt, and fireplace soot. The whole preparation was then put into a wine (only the kind of wine that Catholic priests drink before breakfast) they then drank the whole concoction. It is said that this is to drive away evil.

      Curtin, L. S. M. 1997. Healing herbs of the Upper Rio Grande: Traditional medicine of the Southwest (Michael Moore, ed.). Western Edge Press, Sante Fe.

      Common Names: Cranesbill, wild geranium, patita de Leon (Spanish).


      1) Chippewa and Ottawa: Used a decoction of the whole plant as a dysenteric.

      2) Spanish New Mexicans: Roots chewed for healthy teeth and also used as a decoction to quell diarrhea and for the second stage of dysentery.

      Curtin, L. S. M. 1997. Healing herbs of the Rio Grande: Traditional medicine of the Southwest (Michael Moore, ed.). Western Edge Press, Sante Fe.

      Common Name: Snakeweed.


      1) Cahuilla: Used primarily for medicinal purposes: it was a cure for toothaches, a solution was made as a gargle for sore throats, and parts of this plant were placed directly inside the mouth of the patient to alleviate the pain therein.

      Bean, L. J., and K. S. Saubel. 1972. Temalpakh: Cahuilla Indian knowledge and usage of plants. Rubidoux Printing Company, Riverside.

      Common Names: Creosote, chapparal, greasewood, "cikoi" (Papago), hediondilla (Spanish: "the little bad smeller"), gobernadora (Spanish: "the governess").


      1) Apache: Used poultices for rheumatism.

      2) Maricopa: Used bark for intestinal troubles.

      3) Papago: Among the Papago pharmacy, this plant is the most universal remedy some of their uses include relief for stiff limbs sore muscles snake, spider, or scorpion bites healing and ease of discomfort for women after childbirth skin sores (human and domestic animals) and as an emetic.

      4) Pima: Chew and swallow gum as anti-dysenteric.

      5) Seri: Women use this for contraceptive purposes.

      6) Spanish: Used for sick cattle and horses' saddle sores.

      7) Yavapai: Steamed branches used for lying-in women for 4 days after childbirth. Also, use as a decoction against internal chills and colds.

      1) Papago: Considered a "sacred" plant. Papago cosmology: Earth Maker took soil from his breast and cikoi was the first green thing to grow. Also used to make gourd rattle handles.

      2) Papago and Pima: Used to make tattoo ink. Also used to paint masks.


      1) Papago: Wood used to make sticks for "hand-game".


      1) Papago: Wood used to hold stone arrows wood tips hardened in a fire and used as a single point to hunt small game wood stakes used for stretching hides out on the ground drill sticks used in fire-making branches used for spine removal of Opuntia fruits branches stuck in the ground used to shade growing tobacco plants wood used in construction of gathering poles used to obtain saguaro fruits.


      1) "King Clone". An enormous specimen is in Johnson Valley, California (near Los Angeles). It is 25 x 75 feet, and it has been determined to be a single bush. It is dated as about 12,000 years old, with the most conservative dating at 9,400 years.

      2) In 1962, at Yucca Flat, Nevada, a thermonuclear explosion was detonated. All vegetation was seemingly destroyed. An ecologist, 10 years later, discovered that 20 of the original 21 creosote had resprouted.

      Castetter, E. F., and R. M. Underhill. 1935. The ethnobiology of the Papago. University New Mexico Bulletin, Oct.

      Nabhan, G. R. 1985. Gathering the desert. University Arizona Press, Tucson.

      Worthington, R. D. 1998. Syllabus of "Plants in Southwest cultures", Biology 3341. Unpublished paper. El Paso, Texas.

      Common Names: Wild four o'clock, maravilla (Spanish).


      1) Spanish New Mexicans: Used for sore throats: the dry root of the maravilla was scraped and the scrapings were rolled in a cigarette paper the smoke of that "cigarette" was then blown into the throat.

      2) Tewa: The roots were ground to make an infusion for swellings.

      3) Zuni: Men would gather the roots of this plant and give them to the women who would then grind them into a powder and mix it with hot or cold water to counter the effects of overeating. Also, a pinch of the powdered root was put into a dinner drink as a means to reduce overeating in young men.

      Curtin, L. S. M. 1997. Healing herbs of the Rio Grande: Traditional medicine of the Southwest (Michael Moore, ed.). Western Edge Press, Sante Fe.

      Common Names: Wild tobacco, "winpuri" (Papago), coyote tobacco (Papago), desert tobacco, "pi: 'va" (Hopi).


      1) Papago: Used tobacco smoke as a purifying agent and also used in medicine healing ceremonies.

      1) Cahuilla: Consider this a "sacred plant": this was one of the first plants created by the god "Mukat". The Cahuilla chewed, smoked, or used this plant in a drinkable decoction for ritualistic, shamanistic, medicinal, or other purposes.

      2) Hopi: The Hopi used a smoking mixture of N. trigonophylla, Populus tremuloides var. aurea (aspen), Pinus ponderosa (ponderosa pine), and spruce for ceremonial purposes.

      3) Mojave and Yuma: Both smoked the leaves of this plant.

      4) Papago: The plant was dried and smoked in a "carrizo" stem or in an inner white corn husk.


      1) Cocopa and Maricopa: According to Ebeling (1986), some members of these tribes sometimes smoked for pleasure.


      1) Both Castetter and Underhill (1935) and Ebeling (1986) cite the smoking of N. trigonophylla in the tubular internodes of the immature stalk of a cane reed ( Phragmites australis, and P. communis ). According to Ebeling, the Papago use of cornhusk cigarettes was unknown until post-contact times.

      Castetter, E. F., and R. M. Underhill. 1935. The ethnobiology of the Papago. University New Mexico Bulletin, Oct.

      Eberling, W. 1986. Handbook of Indian foods and fibers of arid America. University California Press, Los Angeles.

      Schlett, S. F. 1995. The ethnobotanic practice of the Hopi people." Thesis, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso.

      Common name: Beargrass.


      1) Papago: This plant was chiefly used as material in basket construction. Nolina was utilized as a foundation element in baskets of all sizes, including the 3-foot tall granary baskets. Nolina also was used in agave-heart cooking pits as moistened material to cushion and steam the hearts.

      Castetter, E. F., and R. M. Underhill. 1935. The ethnobiology of the Papago. University New Mexico Bulletin, Oct.

      Eberling, W. 1986. Handbook of Indian foods and fibers of arid America. University California Press, Los Angeles.

      Worthington, R. D. 1998. Syllabus of "Plants in Southwest Cultures." Biology 3341. Unpublished paper. El Paso.

      Common Names: Evening primrose, desert primrose, "tesaval" (Cahuilla).


      1) Cahuilla: The leaves were gathered fresh and used as greens. The caterpillar of the white line sphinx moth (Celerio lineata) was one of the Cahuilla's favorite foods. The Cahuilla name for this insect is "piyakhtem", and it is said that they taste similar to pork rinds. The following preparation for the caterpillars is given: First chop off the head, then clean out the insides, and then boil, parboil, or dry in the sun.

      Bean, L. J., and K. S. Saubel. 1972. Temalpakh: Cahuilla Indian knowledge and usage of plants. Rubidoux Printing Company, Riverside.

      Common Names: Mesquite, mesquitl (Nahuatl), honey mesquite, western honey mesquite,


      1) Aztec: Used for eye ailments, as an astringent, and to restrain excessive menses.

      2) Cocopa: First 4 days following birth--inner bark decoction used as newborn tonic (small amount).

      3) Comanche: Used for eye ailment and as antacid.

      4) Mescalero Apache: Eye ailment uses.

      5) Paipai: Eye ailment, smallpox, measles, and emetic.

      6) Papago: Eye ailment, chronic indigestion, internal anti-spasmodic uses. Note: few uses of P. glandulosa , but extensive use of P. velutina .

      7) Pima: Used as "bleach" for severe sunburn and for eye ailment, sore throat, respiratory afflictions, open wound disinfectant, diarrhea, stomach disorders, and as an emetic. Powdered mesquite bark was mixed with sand to dry the umbilical cord of newborn.

      8) Seri: Eye ailment, laxative, and emetic.

      9) Yuma (Quechan): Relieve painful micturition, and emetic.

      1) Papago: Mesquite bean used ceremoniously in their harvest festival.

      2) Seri: Black face-paint ingredient.

      3) Yuma (Quechan): Mesquite thorns used for tattoo needles charcoal used as tattoo ink.

      4) Yavapai: Used black gum to clean and dye hair--abstinence practiced while "plaster" was on hair for 2 to 4 days.


      1) Cocopa: Wood used to make balls for games.

      2) Papago: Made wood balls for games.

      3) Seri: Made rolled hoops for games.


      1) Seri: wood used as pestle for pounding pods, also for fuel wood.

      2) Papago: Dwelling construction, fence construction, and fuel wood. Used bark for weft in granary baskets.

      3) Pima: Wood used to make shovels, awls for weaving baskets, bread trays, ladles, and wood handle for rope twister.

      1) Cahuilla: Roasted mesquite flowers, pressed into balls, stored, later eaten after boiling.

      2) Mescalero Apache: Beans are one of the traditional foods eaten for breakfast by female puberty initiates.

      3) Pima: In precontact time, mesquite was almost the most important wild food in Pima diet. Used for puddings, breads, beverages, candy made from white mesquite gum, and they ate flowers.

      4) Papago: Used to make breads, beverages, stored pods in granary baskets.

      5) Seri: Toasted pods before pounding mesocarp ground into flour mixed with water to make dough seeds separated (40% protein) from endocarp and made into flour. Sweet drinks made from pods (33% sugar). "Seri say that food from mesquite makes children fat and their skin light in color (both desirable traits to Seri)" (Simpson, 1977).


      1) In time of famine many desert peoples (Papago, Pima, Yuma, etc.) would raid packrat nests. These rodents store pods underground in separate piles (different foods were separated) and, if the hunter was lucky, the rat would accompany the pods to the pot. 2) When equines and bovines feed on mesquite pods, seeds passing through the animals' intestinal tract have a higher germination rate.

      Castetter, E. F., and W. H. Bell. 1942. Pima and Papago Indian agriculture. University New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.

      Nabhan, G. R. 1985. Gathering the desert. University Arizona Press, Tucson.

      Russel, F. 1977 (1980 reprint). The Pima Indians. University Arizona Press, Tucson.

      Simpson, B.B. (ed.). 1977. Mesquite, its biology in two desert ecosystems. International Biological Program, Synthesis Series 4.

      Worthington, R. D. 1998. Syllabus of "Plants in Southwest cultures", Biology 3341. Unpublished paper. El Paso.

      Common Names: Screwbean mesquite, tornillo, "ko utcilt" (Pima)


      1) Pima: The bark was used for wound dressings, powdered and boiled.

      1) Pima: The screwbeans were placed in layers alternating with cocklebur leaves. The pit was then covered with earth for 3 to 4 days. Then, the beans were taken out and spread to dry. When dry, they were either placed into arrowbush baskets, or they were used promptly. The common method was to grind the dried beans in a mortar then the flour was made into pinole, or breads. Screwbean was a main supplemental food for the Pima. Additionally, the mesquite catkins were eaten fresh, stripped from the stems between the teeth. A white gum (sap) was used in candy making, and the inner bark was sometimes used as a rennet substitute.

      Castetter, E. F., and W. H. Bell. 1942. Pima and Papago Indian agriculture. University New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.

      Eberling, W. 1986. Handbook of Indian foods and fibers of arid America. University California Press, Los Angeles.

      Russel, F. 1985. The Pima Indians. University Arizona Press, Tucson.

      Common Names: Skunkbush, three-leaf sumac, lemonade berry, lemita (Spanish), "su: 'vi" (Hopi).


      1) Hopi: This wood is used as one of the construction materials for making prayer sticks. This wood is also used for one of the traditional woods in the sacred kiva fire.


      1) Apache
      2) Coahuilla
      3) Hopi
      4) Panamint
      5) Paiute
      6) Navajo
      All of these tribes utilized this plant for complete basket construction. First, the peeled branches are used for the warp, then branches are split into three strands (pith and bark removed) these flat, tough strands are used for the weft and sewing material in coiled basket construction. The Navajo also used the leaves and berries of this plant to make a black dye.

      7) Zuni: The stems with the bark removed were used for basket making.

      1) Apache: Made a bread from the ground-up berries.

      2) Tewa: They ate the whole fruits (which are red, not white), or they ground them up for other food uses.


      1) The Kickapoo crushed the berries in water, then added more water plus sugar to make a delightful cold drink. The Mescalero Apache: also ate the berries.

      Curtin, L. S. M. 1997. Healing herbs of the Upper Rio Grande: Traditional medicine of the Southwest (Michael Moore, ed.). Western Edge Press, Sante Fe.

      Eberling, W. 1986. Handbook of Indian foods and fibers of arid America. University California Press, Los Angeles.

      Schlett, S. F. 1995. The ethnobotanic practice of the Hopi people." Thesis, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso.

      Worthington, R. D. 1998. Syllabus of "Plants in Southwest cultures", Biology 3341. Unpublished paper. El Paso.

      Common Name: Dropseed, "nz: 'nz" (Hopi).


      1) Hopi: Considered a wild staple of the Hopi diet, the seeds were used to make a finely ground meal. S. cryptandrus also was considered an important wild staple food. The seeds were ground up with maize to make into cakes.

      Eberling, W. 1986. Handbook of Indian foods and fibers of arid America. University California Press, Los Angeles.

      Schlett, S. F. 1995. The ethnobotanic practice of the Hopi people. Thesis, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso.

      Common Names: Sacaton grass, "ohki" (Papago).


      1) Pima: Hairbrushes were made from sacaton grass roots.

      1) Papago: They would burn a whole patch of this grass, then sweep the seeds off of the ground. Seeds are parched by being placed in a flat basket with a few embers, and this is shaken constantly to prevent the burning of the seeds.


      1) Sacaton is the name of one of the Pima reservations.

      Castetter, E. F., and W. H. Bell. 1942. Pima and Papago Indian agriculture. University New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.

      Castetter, E. F., and R. M. Underhill. 1935. The ethnobiology of the Papago. University New Mexico Bulletin, Oct.

      Russel, F. 1985. The Pima Indians. University Arizona Press, Tucson.

      Common Names: Datil, banana yucca, soapweed, "Ha valt" (Pima), "Hoi" (Papago), "huskane" (Mescalero Apache:).


      1) Pima: The fruits were eaten raw as a cathartic.

      2) Hopi: Fruits were baked in earthen ovens and then used as a laxative.

      1) Mescalero Apache: Fruits are gifted to female puberty rite initiates the Singer gives this to his "daughter".


      1) Hopi: The juice of this yucca was used for the varnishing of kachinas.

      2) Papago: Split leaves were used for weft of wrapped weaving projects leaves were also utilized as foundation material in coiled basketry construction.

      1) Cochiti and Zuni: Both considered this fruit a great luxury. It was eaten raw or first boiled and then skinned and eaten.

      2) Hopi: Fruits were eaten dry, roasted, or raw. Flowers were also eaten, with the white blossoms preferred.

      3) Maricopa: Ate the fresh fruits, but also dried and stored them for future use.

      4) Navajo: The fruits were eaten raw or cooked. They were dried for storage by placing fruits on flat stones near fire. When they were dry, they were often ground, then kneaded into small cakes for storing.

      5) Mescalero Apache: Flowers were eaten, and young leaves were cooked in soups or with meats.

      6) Papago: This was an important staple crop. The fruits were eaten fresh, or the fresh fruits were made into a gruel. Also, the seeds were removed by hand and the pulp ground on a metate (cornmeal was first rubbed on the metate and the muller to prevent sticking). The seeds were then dried by spreading them onto saguaro ribs in the sun when they were perfectly dry, they were beaten on a mat to remove the fiber, then stored in granary baskets, and later they were ground into a meal. The pulp was patted into cakes and dried on hot stones they then were dried further by spreading on the house roof in the sun. When dried thoroughly, they were stored in jars for later use.

      7) Pima: The fruits were always gathered in August by the men. Fruits could be boiled, dried, and then ground on stone and boiled with flour to make a gruel.

      8) San Felipe: Partly cooked fruits formed a thick substance that was dried and stored for future use.

      1) Pima: Yucca baccata stems were reduced to pulp and used as a soap. Yucca elata also was used for soap.

      Castetter, E. F., and W. H. Bell. 1942. Pima and Papago Indian agriculture. University New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.

      Castetter, E. F., and R. M. Underhill. 1935. The ethnobiology of the Papago. University New Mexico Bulletin, Oct.

      Eberling, W. 1986. Handbook of Indian foods and fibers of arid America. University California Press, Los Angeles.

      Farrer, C. R. 1991. Living life's circle: Mescalero Apache cosmovision. University New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.

      Russel, F. 1985. The Pima Indians. University Arizona Press, Tucson. Schlett, S. F. 1995. The ethnobotanic practice of the Hopi people. Thesis, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso.