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· AWNED WHEATGRASS · BEBB'S SEDGE · BIG BLUESTEM · BLUE GRAMA · BUFFALO GRASS · CANADA WILD RYE · GIANT WILD RYE · GREEN NEEDLE GRASS · INDIAN GRASS · JUNE GRASS · LITTLE BLUESTEM · MARSH REED GRASS · PRAIRIE DROPSEED · PURPLE OAT GRASS · SHEEP FESCUE · SIDE OATS GRAMA · SWEETGRASS · SWITCH GRASS ·TALL MANNA GRASS · TUFTED HAIRGRASS ·
Native prairie plants, each associated with a ceremonial use and considered sacred medicines, include prairie sage, traditional tobacco, red cedar and sweetgrass. Sage, for example, is used in smudging ceremonies. The plants are now planted in a red shale rock garden on the outer perimeter of the turtle.Rocke sourced many of the plants from Prairie Originals in Selkirk. Sweetgrass, for example, is native to North America and has a preference for moisture. A cool season grass, it grows to a height of 60 cm and is sweetly fragrant. Burned as incense for cleansing, purification and healing, sweetgrass is also used for medicinal tea. Prairie sage, with its silvery leaves, is described in the 1990 Tall Grass Prairie Conservation Project, Manitoba’s first systematic inventory of tall grass prairie by Jo-Anne Joyce. Wild sage has ceremonial as well as medicinal and culinary uses.
The harvesting of Sweetgrass begins in late June to early July. However, the plant should never be harvested in the first year of planting. The procedure is simple, but neglect of following the proper way to harvest has resulted in the inability for the grass to reproduce. The Sweetgrass should only be harvested when the plant covers a six-foot square area. This should be the yield of one growing season and should produce eight to 10 braids. Simply cut the stem two to three inches from the base of the stock. Never pick Sweetgrass by pulling the roots out of the soil.Sweetgrass is a fragrant grass with long, satiny leaves. Also known as vanillagrass, mannagrass and holy grass, it is well known to many Indigenous people in Canada and the United States as a material for baskets, as well as a scent, medicine and smudge. Two closely related species are native Canada: common sweetgrass (Hierochloë hirta subspecies arctica) and alpine sweetgrass (H. alpina). As a widely used and revered sacred plant, sweetgrass is still harvested today, and continues to play an important role in Indigenous cultures. (Source: www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca)