Submitted August 7, 2019 at 12:00 PM

We have a new installation in the Children's Garden and it's all about ethnobotany and the findings from the research of our Conservation Department, in conjunction with the Natural History Museum and Indigenous tribes of of Southern Utah, near Bear's Ears Buttes.

Ethnobotany Display Path
Children's Garden

The signs says, "What would your life look like without grocery stores or online shopping? How would you get food? Medicine? Toys?"

Walk down this path next to the Grotto to find the answers while getting a peek into the past.

Ethnobotany Four-Corners Potato Display
Ethnobotany Four-Corners Potato Display

Ethnobotany is the study of people and plants, and the ways in which they interact. Look for the red signs like the one in the photo above, these signs indicate a plant that was found to be ethnobotanically significant to the indigenous tribes of Southern Utah.

Four-Corners Potato
Four-Corners Potato     Solanum jamesii

This is the star of the show! It is a native potato that indigenous tribes have used for over 10,000 years. It is an important staple food and thought to be the first domesticated plant in the Western U.S.! It is flowering right now so get to the Garden ASAP, you don't want to miss it.

Prairie Spiderwort
Prairie Spiderwort     Tradescantia occidentalis

These cute purple flowers can be made into a candy.

Three-leaf Sumac
Three-leaf Sumac     Rhus trilobata

These red fruits can be eaten medicinally for gastrointestinal complaints, as well as for toothaches.

Utah Juniper
Utah Juniper     Juniperus osteosperma

The fruit from this tree has been used for fevers, coughs, and colds.

Lyda Rose
Alderleaf Mountain Mahogany     Cercocarpus montanus

A broom can be made from this shrub by tying a bunch of the stems together.

Come explore our new ethnobotany garden and learn about how people have been using plants for centuries!

Photos by, Heidi M. Simper

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