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Common Name: Navajo Tea
Thelesperma megapotanicum is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.50 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
Southern N. America - Wyoming to South Dakota, south to Arizona, Texas and Mexico.
Sandy or rocky prairies and roadsides in Texas[
]. Disturbed places on sands or clays, oak/juniper woodlands, desert scrub, yellow-pine forests at elevations of 300 - 2900 metres[
Succeeds in any moderately fertile well-drained soil in full sun[
This species is not very hardy outdoors in Britain, usually requiring cold greenhouse treatment[
According to one report this species might be no more than a synonym for T. gracile[
]. No more details are given.
A tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves and flowering stems[
]. The flowers and leaf tips are dried in an oven and then boiled for a very short time[
]. When well made it is delicious, with just a hint of mint in its aftertaste[
The plant has been used in the treatment of children with tuberculosis[
An infusion of the leaves and stems has been used as a 'nervous stimulant'[
An infusion of the leaves and stems has been used as a treatment for the teeth[
A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers[
]. Reddish-brown according to another report[
A brown dye is obtained from the leaves and stems[
An orange-yellow dye can be obtained from the boiled roots[
Seed - sow spring in situ, only just covering the seed. In dry weather the seed should be watered in.
Division might be possible.