On our recent trip to Arkansas and Oklahoma we were able to spend a lovely morning in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Tahlequah is the Capital of the Cherokee Nation. Over the past several years we have been able to take many native plants, shrubs, trees and donate them to their Cherokee Heritage Garden. Although many of our Georgia native plants will do well in Oklahoma, these plants are not native to that area. There is a great interest in preserving and propagating native plants that were used by the Cherokee prior to the Forced Removal to Oklahoma (The Trail of Tears). It has been our pleasure to provide them with some of these significant plants for their educational garden. Today many of the Cherokee refer to the original Cherokee lands (GA, TN, NC, AL) as “back East”. This phrase “back East” has always seems strange to us since Georgia is now our home.
When we are visiting Tahlequah the first plant we want to check on is the Prairie Willow. This plant is very rare and we have never seen it in the wild. Some of the naturalists from the Cherokee Nation looked for over five years before they were able to locate Prairie Willow in Oklahoma. With a lot of nurturing in the beginning the plant is thriving next to the stream that runs through the Heritage Garden. In the near future, we will have a new posting about how the Cherokee used Prairie Willow as medicine.
Another plant that is thriving is their “cane break” of River Cane. In our post of April 14th we discussed our disappointment about River Cane disappearing in North Georgia. The picture below shows how a healthy stand of Cane should look.
The two remaining plants that we want to show you today is Rattlesnake Master and New Jersey Tea. In future posts, we will also go into detail about the Cherokee uses of these plants, but we wanted to give you a preview of how they are thriving.
Please excuse the tip of my finger on the photo of the New Jersey Tea.