Gutierrezia sarothrae. © 1sagebrush17
Lakota name: peji zizi (yellow herb)
Listen to Lakota Plant Name: peji zizi
Scientific name: Gutierrezia sarothrae
Common name: Matchbrush, broom snakeweed, snakeweed, terpentine weed, yellow top, kindlingweed, escobilla, yerba-de-vibora, coyaye, matchweed.
Medicinal uses: Boiled for tea, coughing and colds and dizziness. Limonene used in trials for use as a cancer chemotherapeutic agent. Terpentine found in this plant is used as highly effective cure for lice and when mixed with animal fat could be used as a substitute for medicine such as Vick's.
Molecular structure of limonene
Secondary compounds: This plant has been used for centuries to cure various human ailments and can usually be found in the local herb shops. This plant has 97 volatile compounds that are extracted from the snakeweed’s leaves and steams. The compounds limonene, beta-pinene, beta-eudesmol, sabinene, cryptone, alpha-pinene, and ortho-cymene all have medicinal uses and make up 53% of the volatiles extracted.
Description: This plant is prevalent through the western United States. This plant grows primarily in the spring and summer. A mature plant reaches the height of about a foot and a half. This plant also has high carbon to nitrogen ratio. The flowering part of the plant is yellow and the seeds are brown. It has a moderate lifespan and is slightly toxic. This plant has adapted to fine, medium, and course types of soil. This plant has great durability against the weather. It has a high tolerance against drought and can sustain living in conditions up to -38 degrees F. The roots of this plant grow to a maximum depth of sixteen inches. The blooming period of this plant occurs during the early part of the summer. Its seed abundance is medium and the seed period begins in the summer and ends in the fall. It has a rapid seed dispersal and has 225000 seeds per pound. One plant may produce from 1000 to 22000 seeds per year but is influenced by the land.
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Gutierrezia sarothrae. Left: plant © Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service. Right: flowers, photo by Jim Pisarowicz courtesy National Park Service
Distribution: This plant is native to the US and can be found in AZ , CA , CO , ID , KS , MN , MT , NE , NV , NM , NY , ND , OK , OR , SD , TX , UT , WA , WY.
Habitat: Desert and grasslands- native to the Americas, Canada, and Mexico
Similar species: threadleaf snakeweed
Flowering period: Beginning in early summer and ending in the fall South Dakota distribution
: It is found all across South Dakota.
Information on the Internet
State Education Standards
- South Dakota Education Standards
- 9-12.L.1.1. Students are able to relate cellular functions and processes to specialized structures within cells.
- 9-12.L.1.2. Students are able to classify organisms using characteristics and evolutionary relationships of major taxa.
- 9-12.S.1.1. Students are able to explain ethical roles and responsibilities of scientists and scientific research.
- 9-12.S.1.2. Students are able to evaluate and describe the impact of scientific discoveries on historical events and social, economic, and ethical issues.
- 9-12.N.1.1. Students are able to evaluate a scientific discovery to determine and describe how societal, cultural, and personal beliefs influence scientific investigations and interpretations.
- 9-12.N.2.1. Students are able to apply science process skills to design and conduct student investigations. (Synthesis)
- 9-12.N.2.2. Students are able to practice safe and effective laboratory techniques.
National Education Standards
- National Education Standards
CONTENT STANDARD A: As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop
- Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
- Understandings about scientific inquiry
CONTENT STANDARD B: As a result of their activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop an understanding of
- Structure of atoms
- Structure and properties of matter
- Chemical reactions
- Motions and forces
- Conservation of energy and increase in disorder
- Interactions of energy and matter
CONTENT STANDARD C: As a result of their activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop understanding of
- The cell
- Molecular basis of heredity
- Biological evolution
- Interdependence of organisms
- Matter, energy, and organization in living systems
- Behavior of organisms
CONTENT STANDARD E: As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop
- Abilities of technological design
- Understandings about science and technology
CONTENT STANDARD F: As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop understanding of
- Personal and community health
- Population growth
- Natural resources
- Environmental quality
- Natural and human-induced hazards
- Science and technology in local, national, and global challenges
CONTENT STANDARD G: As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop understanding of
- Science as a human endeavor
- Nature of scientific knowledge
- Historical perspectives
About This Page
Classroom Project: Medicinal Plants of the Lakota Sioux
Lead-Deadwood High School
Lead, South Dakota United States
License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0
Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to , Lead-Deadwood High School
Page copyright © 2008 1sagebrush17
About This Portfolio
I would like to acknowledge the following individuals for their help with this project:
- Rev. Raymond Bucko S.J., Creighton University Department of Sociology and Anthropology
- My student mentor Devan, Kim Loeffen, Tony Beisiot, Wade Mackey, and Sharon Burns for their technical help.
- F.J. Doody, Buechel Memorial Museum, St. Francis, S.D.
- Ben Black Bear Jr. for his audio of Lakota names, St. Francis, S.D. (Author of the Introduction of Dilwyn Rogers' Book of Father Buechel's research.)
- Katja Schulz Managing Editor ToL
- And mostly, my students for their perserverence!
Lead-Deadwood High School
Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Robin Cochran-Dirksen at
Page copyright © 2008 Robin Cochran-Dirksen