X is for Xerophyllum

(Bear Grass, Indian Basket Grass)

Photograph courtesy of seedsworld.online

Long spiky green leaves
woven into baskets
years past to carry necessities
by the Tribes
of the great western prairies

Among the craggy cliffs
of the Rockies
you grow so tall
within the coniferous woods
where you remain petite and small

Sacred Mother Bears
pad their winter den’s
for comfort and scent
during a long seasons frost
where her tiny cubs will be dossed

In the Spring
when new birds sing
and children run and play
then scrapes occur or a twisted knee
the roots are used from me

Boiled down to a creamy
compound and applied when
swelling is found
no longer will the pain abide
children go play seek and hide

Should this flower
be sown into your garden soil
and years go by ‘til bloom
beware when animals roam near
it’s a favorite of elk and deer!

Tohonoa O’odham Bear Grass Basket, Doris Jose, 1996, Nolic Village, AZ


  1. A lovely teaching about a wonderful plant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Deborah! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sadje says:

    A lovely plant. Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        My pleasure

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful, Gypsie! A great motivation! Today i saw the first humble bee on our cherry tree. The first since some years. Maybe it will become a good summer. Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fantastic news and thank you Michael! 🙏


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