Jul. 12, 2019

wavy-leaved thistle, Cirsium undulatum

Wavy-leaved is one of our larger flowered thistles. Really nice big showy heads! Historically, it was more the stems and roots that were of interest. "Dried roots rehydrated, scraped, chopped, and cooked in stews. The roots were pit cooked after which the usually turned dark brown. One or two bags of dried roots were stored each year by a family and were said to be full of vitamins. One informant said that the roots caused gas if too many were eaten.." This bit of Thompson Indian life from Thompson Ethnobotany, by Thompson, Thompson, and Turner. The peeled stems were also eaten, particularly early in the season. In times of different needs, parts of the plant became medicine. The Navajo used it when they just felt bad all over. Wavy-leaved thistle grows in AZ, CA, CO, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, NT, ND, NE, NM, NV, OK, OR, PA, SD, TX, UT, WA, WI, WY, AB, BC, MB, and SK. East of the plains it's adventive. Sedgwick Co CO, 7/12/19.