Rush Gatherer's Personal Traveler  LbNA # 8854

Placed DateJun 24 2004
Location???, CT
Planted ByRush Gatherer    
Found By ???
Last Found Oct 26 2008
Hike Distance?

Rush Gatherer's Personal Traveler

When you see Rush Gatherer, tell her the name of the plant described below and she'll share her personal traveler stamp with you.


This plant contains ten times the starch of an equal weight of potatoes. It's new early spring shoots, once peeled, are tasty steamed or sliced and eaten raw in salads. That sticky substance at the base of the green leaves is antiseptic, coagulant and even a bit numbing. The leaves may be boiled for an external skin wash.

The plant's early summer pollen can be collected and added to extend other flours. The pollen has the medicinal properties of a hemostatic & astringent, used on cuts or taken internally to control bleeding. Pollen is also mildly diuretic and emenagogue. When mixed with honey, the pollen can be applied to bruises, sores, or swellings. The pollen also serves as a hair conditioner.

This plant's young flowerheads can be boiled and eaten like corn on the cob, or pickled to preserve them. Native Americans would dip the dried flowerheads in animal fat for use as a torch, and used the fluffy seedpods for not only for tinder, but because it was so soft and absorbent, it was also used in babies cradleboards.

The plant's winter roots can be mashed and rinsed, then dried and ground into a flour. Medicinally, the fresh roots can be pounded and tied as a nightly poultice directly on infections, blisters, & stings. This mashed starchy root can also be used as a toothpaste. A tea from water and the root flour, or eating the young flowerheads can help bind diarrhea and dysentery.

Native Americans also thatched their houses, wove intricate baskets, and spun strong cord from this plant's leaves. Don't forget hand drills, arrow shafts, duck decoys and children's toys can also be made from this amazing plant!


Rush Gatherer and Powwow Dancer attended the Moose Hill Gathering, and many guessed the correct plant!