Purple Poppy Mallow
Callirhoe involucrata (Torrey & A. Gray)
Pȟežúta naŋtíažila (Lakȟóta)
According to Linda Black Elk, “The smoke of the dried root” of this plant is used by the Lakota to “‘bathe’ or waft over aching body parts, and is inhaled for head colds” (“Culturally Important Plants of the Lakota”).
Agelaius phoeniceus (Linnaeus)
The Lakota word literally translates as “wings of red,” and its various calls and songs each have their own Lakota meanings, as if, like the meadowlark, this ubiquitous bird of the Plains also speaks Lakota. Its “wings of red” also seem to be a favorite image for contemporary Native poets. Muskoke poet Joy Harjo describes them as “the beauty of scarlet licked with yellow” (“The Myth of Blackbirds,” in The Woman who Fell from the Sky). Chickasaw poet Linda Hogan writes of a red-wing keeping “vigil on a cattail”: “He opens his wounds, a sleeve of fire” (“Porcupine on the Road to the River,” in Seeing Through the Sun).