Native American Usage of Plants Found In Fallbrook

Shrubs, Vines and Wildflowers

Common NameScientific NameNative American Use
Bigberry ManzanitaArctostaphylos glaucaRipe berries were eaten fresh; seeds were beaten to make flour and made into thin cakes
Blue DicksDichelostemma capitatumBulbs cooked in earth ovens
Blue-Eyed GrassSisyrinchium bellumRoots used as purgative
California PoppyEschscholzia californicaStems and leaves cooked or eaten raw
California Scrub OakQuercus dumosaAcorns used for food when live oak acorns not available; galls used for medicine
ChamiseAdenostoma fasciculatumWood used to make arrows; scale on stems used to make a glue or cement
ChiaSalvia columbariaeSeeds made into a drink or ground into fine flour, eaten dry or mixed with water
Collar LupineLupinus truncatusStems and leaves cooked or eaten raw
Globe LilyCalochortus albusBulbs cooked in earth ovens
Miner's LettuceClaytonia perfoliataGreens eaten raw or cooked
Mule FatBaccharis salicifoliaWood used for drilling to make fire; leaves were boiled and liquid used to clean wounds
Our Lord's CandleYucca whippleiFlowers cooked and eaten; seeds ground into flour; leaves fashioned into brushes to paint pottery; thread was made from leaves
Poison OakToxicodendron diversilobumUsed for medicine; juice made a black dye for basket parts
Prickly PearOpuntia sp.Fruits peeled and eaten raw; also boiled for syrup
Sacred DaturaDatura wrightiiCalled toloache (Aztec name); smoked in adolescence ceremonies
Splendid Mariposa LilyCalochortus splendensBulbs cooked in earth ovens
Squaw BushRhus trilobataFruit eaten; splints used to make baskets and beaters for small seeds
Sugar BushRhus ovataRipe berries were eaten
ToyonHeteromeles arbutifoliaBerries cooked and eaten; American settlers made a cider from the berries; bark boiled and liquid taken for stomach-aches
Tree TobaccoNicotiana glaucaLeaves smoked in ceremonies
White Flowering CurrantRibes indecorumMade a medicine for tooth-aches
White NightshadeSolanum douglasiiStems and leaves cooked; juice of berries used on inflamed eyes
Wild CucumberMarah macrocarpusRoots used as purgative; oil used to mix with paints
Wild GrapeVitis girdianaFruit eaten
Yerba MansaAnemopsis californicaRoot dried and brewed as linament for skin diseases
Yerba SantaEriodictyon crassifoliumLeaves boiled and liquid used as blood purifier


Common NameScientific NameNative American Use
Coast Live OakQuercus agrifoliaMost desirable food acorns
Engelmann OakQuercus engelmanniiAcorns used for food when live oak acorns not available
Fremont CottonwoodPopulus fremontiiSoft inner bark used to make clothing
Mexican ElderberrySambucus mexicanaFlowers made a medicine for diseases of women; stems made a black dye
Red WillowSalix laevigataWood used to make bows; soft inner bark used to make clothing
White AlderAlnus rhombifoliaWood used to make heavier bows; bark made a red dye; bark brewed for medicine

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Copyright © 2000 by Elizabeth Yamaguchi.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to me at this source:
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Last update: 9 December 2000 (links updated 31 January 2015)