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Beaver Tail Cactus

Beaver Tail Cactus

The buds and joints of the Beaver Tail Cactus were boiled or steamed, then eaten or stored.

Honey Mesquite

Honey Mesquite

The Honey Mesquite bean was processed in a mortar and ground into a flour to bake into cakes. The bean is about 8% protein and 50% carbohydrate.

 

 

Plants of the Cahuilla Indians of the Colorado Desert and Surrounding Mountains

This book begins with a historical section featuring photographs of Cahuilla mortars and pestals, Cahuilla baskets, Cahuilla Indians working on pottery and grinding grain, and other photographs of Cahuilla people. Also included in the historical section are photographs of famous people who enjoyed visiting the desert area of the Cahuilla Indians. There are 51 historical photographs. A short biography of the author includes a true mountain lion story.

Each unique plant entry includes common name, scientific name, Cahuilla name if known, geographical information, and the Cahuilla Indian uses of the plant. Each plant entry also includes color photographs. There are 630 botanical photographs in the book. A total of 212 pages in the book includes 700 photographs.

Instructions on how to use the book explain the different ways to use the indexes and access the book's information. No technical expertise is needed, since the index system includes access by common names and page numbers. For people with a familiarity with botany the index system also includes access by scientific names. There are seven indexes in the book: Plant Index, Supplementary Index, Plant Usage Index, an Index of Common Names, Plant list by Families, Index of Scientific Names, and Scientific Name to Common Name conversion.

The Plant Usage Index is a handy reference with the Cahuilla plant uses listed under category headings. The plant bloom and harvest times are summed up in the Cahuilla Plant Bloom Chart and the Cahuilla Plant Harvest Chart.

The Cahuilla words in the plant entries are summed up in the Cahuilla Word list which is adjacent to the Cahuilla Pronunciation Guide. To aid in the pronunciation of the scientific names a Latin Pronunciation Guide includes both classical and botanical Latin.

For the enthusiast eager to learn and experience more about nature, the book provides a place to keep records. The Naturalists' Field Notes section contains lined paper, graph paper, blank Field Bloom Charts, blank Field Harvest Charts, and Photo Data charts.

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Yerba Santa

Yerba Santa

Yerba Santa was a favorite medicine of the Cahuilla Indians. It was used as a cough medicine.

Brittle-Bush

Brittle-Bush

The flowers, stems, and leaves of the Brittle-Bush were used for toothaches. The yellow gum, which drips from the plant, was heated and applied to the chest for chest pain.