University of Michigan at Dearborn Native American Ethnobotany Database
(database accessed August 2005)

Commelinaceae
28 entries


Commelina dianthifolia Delile
Birdbill Dayflower; Commelinaceae
Keres, Western Drug (Tuberculosis Remedy)
Infusion of plant used as a strengthener for weakened tuberculosis patients.
Swank, George R. 1932 The Ethnobotany of the Acoma and Laguna Indians. University of New Mexico, M.A. Thesis (p. 38)



Commelina dianthifolia Delile
Birdbill Dayflower; Commelinaceae
Navajo, Ramah Drug (Veterinary Aid)
Cold simple or compound infusion given to livestock as an aphrodisiac.
Vestal, Paul A. 1952 The Ethnobotany of the Ramah Navaho. Papers of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology 40(4):1-94 (p. 19)



Commelina erecta var. angustifolia (Michx.) Fern.
Whitemouth Dayflower; Commelinaceae
Seminole Drug (Other)
Mucilaginous sap used to soothe irritations.
Sturtevant, William 1954 The Mikasuki Seminole: Medical Beliefs and Practices. Yale University, PhD Thesis (p. 303)



Murdannia nudiflora (L.) Brenan
Nakedstem Dewflower; Commelinaceae
Hawaiian Drug (Blood Medicine)
Infusion of pounded leaves and other plants strained and taken to purify the blood.
Akana, Akaiko 1922 Hawaiian Herbs of Medicinal Value. Honolulu: Pacific Book House (p. 70)



Murdannia nudiflora (L.) Brenan
Nakedstem Dewflower; Commelinaceae
Hawaiian Other (Containers)
Leaves used as a covering for underground ovens.
Akana, Akaiko 1922 Hawaiian Herbs of Medicinal Value. Honolulu: Pacific Book House (p. 70)



Tradescantia bracteata Small ex Britt.
Longbract Spiderwort; Commelinaceae
Lakota Other (Paint)
Flowers made into a blue jelly like paint used for painting moccasins.
Rogers, Dilwyn J 1980 Lakota Names and Traditional Uses of Native Plants by Sicangu (Brule) People in the Rosebud Area, South Dakota. St. Francis, SD. Rosebud Educational Scoiety (p. 26)



Tradescantia occidentalis (Britt.) Smyth
Prairie Spiderwort; Commelinaceae
Meskwaki Drug (Diuretic)
Infusion of root used as a "urinary."
Smith, Huron H. 1928 Ethnobotany of the Meskwaki Indians. Bulletin of the Public Museum of the City of Milwaukee 4:175-326 (p. 209)



Tradescantia occidentalis (Britt.) Smyth
Prairie Spiderwort; Commelinaceae
Meskwaki Drug (Psychological Aid)
Root gum inserted in cut on head "to stop craziness."
Smith, Huron H. 1928 Ethnobotany of the Meskwaki Indians. Bulletin of the Public Museum of the City of Milwaukee 4:175-326 (p. 209)



Tradescantia occidentalis (Britt.) Smyth
Prairie Spiderwort; Commelinaceae
Navajo, Kayenta Drug (Love Medicine)
Plant used as an aphrodisiac.
Wyman, Leland C. and Stuart K. Harris 1951 The Ethnobotany of the Kayenta Navaho. Albuquerque. The University of New Mexico Press (p. 16)



Tradescantia occidentalis (Britt.) Smyth
Prairie Spiderwort; Commelinaceae
Navajo, Ramah Drug (Disinfectant)
Cold infusion of root used internally and externally for "deer infection."
Vestal, Paul A. 1952 The Ethnobotany of the Ramah Navaho. Papers of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology 40(4):1-94 (p. 20)



Tradescantia occidentalis (Britt.) Smyth
Prairie Spiderwort; Commelinaceae
Navajo, Ramah Drug (Internal Medicine)
Decoction of root taken for internal injury.
Vestal, Paul A. 1952 The Ethnobotany of the Ramah Navaho. Papers of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology 40(4):1-94 (p. 20)



Tradescantia occidentalis (Britt.) Smyth
Prairie Spiderwort; Commelinaceae
Navajo, Ramah Drug (Veterinary Aid)
Cold simple or compound infusion given to livestock as an aphrodisiac.
Vestal, Paul A. 1952 The Ethnobotany of the Ramah Navaho. Papers of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology 40(4):1-94 (p. 20)



Tradescantia occidentalis (Britt.) Smyth
Prairie Spiderwort; Commelinaceae
Acoma Food (Unspecified)
Tender shoots eaten without preparation.
Castetter, Edward F. 1935 Ethnobiological Studies in the American Southwest I. Uncultivated Native Plants Used as Sources of Food. University of New Mexico Bulletin 4(1):1-44 (p. 53)



Tradescantia occidentalis (Britt.) Smyth
Prairie Spiderwort; Commelinaceae
Keres, Western Food (Unspecified)
Tender shoots eaten for food.
Swank, George R. 1932 The Ethnobotany of the Acoma and Laguna Indians. University of New Mexico, M.A. Thesis (p. 73)



Tradescantia occidentalis (Britt.) Smyth
Prairie Spiderwort; Commelinaceae
Hopi Food (Vegetable)
Plant used for greens.
Colton, Harold S. 1974 Hopi History And Ethnobotany. IN D. A. Horr (ed.) Hopi Indians. Garland: New York. (p. 369)



Tradescantia occidentalis (Britt.) Smyth
Prairie Spiderwort; Commelinaceae
Laguna Food (Unspecified)
Tender shoots eaten without preparation.
Castetter, Edward F. 1935 Ethnobiological Studies in the American Southwest I. Uncultivated Native Plants Used as Sources of Food. University of New Mexico Bulletin 4(1):1-44 (p. 53)



Tradescantia pinetorum Greene
Pinewoods Spiderwort; Commelinaceae
Navajo, Ramah Drug (Veterinary Aid)
Cold simple or compound infusion given to livestock as an aphrodisiac.
Vestal, Paul A. 1952 The Ethnobotany of the Ramah Navaho. Papers of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology 40(4):1-94 (p. 20)



Tradescantia sp.
Spiderwort; Commelinaceae
Cherokee Food (Vegetable)
Leaves relished as greens.
Witthoft, John 1947 An Early Cherokee Ethnobotanical Note. Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences 37(3):73-75 (p. 75)



Tradescantia virginiana L.
Virginia Spiderwort; Commelinaceae
Cherokee Drug (Analgesic)
Infusion used for stomachache from overeating.
Hamel, Paul B. and Mary U. Chiltoskey 1975 Cherokee Plants and Their Uses -- A 400 Year History. Sylva, N.C. Herald Publishing Co. (p. 56, 57)



Tradescantia virginiana L.
Virginia Spiderwort; Commelinaceae
Cherokee Drug (Antihemorrhagic)
Compound infusion taken for "female ailments or rupture."
Hamel, Paul B. and Mary U. Chiltoskey 1975 Cherokee Plants and Their Uses -- A 400 Year History. Sylva, N.C. Herald Publishing Co. (p. 56, 57)



Tradescantia virginiana L.
Virginia Spiderwort; Commelinaceae
Cherokee Drug (Cancer Treatment)
Poultice of root used for cancer.
Hamel, Paul B. and Mary U. Chiltoskey 1975 Cherokee Plants and Their Uses -- A 400 Year History. Sylva, N.C. Herald Publishing Co. (p. 56, 57)



Tradescantia virginiana L.
Virginia Spiderwort; Commelinaceae
Cherokee Drug (Dermatological Aid)
Plant mashed and rubbed on insect bites.
Hamel, Paul B. and Mary U. Chiltoskey 1975 Cherokee Plants and Their Uses -- A 400 Year History. Sylva, N.C. Herald Publishing Co. (p. 56, 57)



Tradescantia virginiana L.
Virginia Spiderwort; Commelinaceae
Cherokee Drug (Gastrointestinal Aid)
Infusion used for stomachache from overeating.
Hamel, Paul B. and Mary U. Chiltoskey 1975 Cherokee Plants and Their Uses -- A 400 Year History. Sylva, N.C. Herald Publishing Co. (p. 56, 57)



Tradescantia virginiana L.
Virginia Spiderwort; Commelinaceae
Cherokee Drug (Gynecological Aid)
Compound infusion taken for "female ailments or rupture."
Hamel, Paul B. and Mary U. Chiltoskey 1975 Cherokee Plants and Their Uses -- A 400 Year History. Sylva, N.C. Herald Publishing Co. (p. 56, 57)



Tradescantia virginiana L.
Virginia Spiderwort; Commelinaceae
Cherokee Drug (Kidney Aid)
Compound used for kidney trouble.
Hamel, Paul B. and Mary U. Chiltoskey 1975 Cherokee Plants and Their Uses -- A 400 Year History. Sylva, N.C. Herald Publishing Co. (p. 56, 57)



Tradescantia virginiana L.
Virginia Spiderwort; Commelinaceae
Cherokee Drug (Laxative)
Infusion taken as a laxative and plant mashed and rubbed on insect bites.
Hamel, Paul B. and Mary U. Chiltoskey 1975 Cherokee Plants and Their Uses -- A 400 Year History. Sylva, N.C. Herald Publishing Co. (p. 56, 57)



Tradescantia virginiana L.
Virginia Spiderwort; Commelinaceae
Cherokee Food (Unspecified)
Young growth parboiled, fried, frequently mixed with other greens and eaten.
Witthoft, John 1977 Cherokee Indian Use of Potherbs. Journal of Cherokee Studies 2(2):250-255 (p. 252)



Tradescantia virginiana L.
Virginia Spiderwort; Commelinaceae
Cherokee Food (Vegetable)
Leaves and stems mixed with other greens or grease and parboiled until tender.
Perry, Myra Jean 1975 Food Use of "Wild" Plants by Cherokee Indians. The University of Tennessee, M.S. Thesis (p. 33)





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