Mertensia ciliata var. ciliata
family: Borage (Boraginaceae)
otá'tavėheséeo'ȯtse, "blue root (medicine)"
Tall fringed bluebells are perennial plants 15 to 150 cm tall. Leaves are ovate to lanceolate, with entire margins, 3 to 15 cm long, 1 to 5 cm wide. Flowers are blue, calyx 1 to 3 mm long, corolla 10 to 17 mm long. Tall fringed bluebells blossom from early June, in higher altitude as long as mid-August. They grow in the mountains, along streams or in other moist places. It ranges Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico; on the east as far as central Colorado, eastern Wyoming, and central Montana.
Cheyennes drank an infusion of the bluebells leaves on smallpox and measles. An infusion of the powdered roots was used on smallpox. It relieved the itching. The Cheyenne mothers drunk an infusion of tall fringed bluebells to support the breast milk formation. For this purpose, they mixed this plant with "milk medicine" (matanáeheséeo'ȯtse), or rush skeletonplant (Lygodesmia juncea), and with some "sweet medicine," which is the Cheyenne name for purple locoweed (Oxytropis lambertii) or red baneberry (Actaea rubra) (Grinnell 1923 II: 184–5, 191).
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