Observation 100820: Lichen P. Micheli

When: 1980-01-01

Collection location: Great Plains, USA [Click for map]

Who: Danny Newman (myxomop)

No specimen available

from: Vestal, Paul A. and Richard Evans Schultes. The Economic Botany of the Kiowa Indians. “Botanical Museum of Harvard University.” Cambridge, MA. 1939. PDF.


The Kiowa distinguish the lichens principally by their color. They recognize that the greatest development of the lichen is on the north side of the tree trunk and, consequently, consider the growth there best to use. The lichens are dried, powdered and applied to the gums when sore and are used for abscesses and when an infant is teething (29). Several of the older men in the tribe remember when lichens were mixed with smoking tobacco. The effect of smoking this mixture is described as mildly soporific.

*29: LaBarre, Weston : Unpublished ethnobotanical field Notes obtained in 1935.

Proposed Names

87% (1)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2012-07-16 15:22:14 CDT (-0400)

unless the true tradition was diluted down through the ages, or Vestal and Schultes, as outsiders, were deliberately led astray. the paper trail is so paper thin on this stuff. you’d think there’d have been some follow up work done by now.

I love this
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-07-16 14:52:49 CDT (-0400)

There’s no attempt whatsoever to describe the kind of lichen used! Maybe it didn’t matter. Just grab a whole bunch and mash ‘em all up, and you’re guaranteed to get a bunch of usnic acid and other antibacterial lichen substances…

Created: 2012-07-16 14:15:46 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2012-07-16 14:15:46 CDT (-0400)
Viewed: 264 times, last viewed: 2018-01-09 16:37:43 CST (-0500)
Show Log