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Reindeer Lichen

Iñupiaq Name: Niqaaq
Scientific Name: Cladonia rangiferina
Family Name: Cladoniaceae (in Fungi Kingdom)
Description: Light-colored (grayish-whitish) lichen, with many branches
Habitat and NSB locations: Dry tundra.
Height: 1-2 inches
Traditional Uses: none known

Reindeer lichen taken by Leslie Pierce near Barrow

Reindeer lichen taken by Leslie Pierce near Barrow

Richardson's Saxifrage or Richardson's Brookfoam

Iñupiaq Name:
Scientific Name: Boykinia richardsonii
Family Name: Saxifragaceae
Description: Tall plant with large, palm-shaped, slightly toothed green leaves; leaves mostly basal, but a few on flowering stalk.  Flowers large, petals mostly white with pinkish veins; dark red center and dark red sepals.
Habitat and NSB locations: Dry tundra.
Height: 12 - 30 inches.
Traditional Uses: none known

IMG_2150

Richardson's Saxifrage

Richardson's Saxifrage taken by Leslie Pierce near Point Lay

Rock Jasmine

Iñupiaq Name:
Scientific Name: Androsace chamaejasme (see also A. septentrionalis)
Family Name: Primulaceae
Description: Rosette of small, hairy, fleshy, linear to oblong leaves. Two to four flowers on top of stalk; tube flowers with white petals and yellow center; sometimes pinkish.
Habitat and NSB locations: Rocky areas.
Height: About 3 inches.
Traditional Uses: none known

Rock Jasmine taken by Leslie Pierce near Point Lay in early July.

Rock Jasmine taken by Leslie Pierce near Point Lay in early July.

Rock Jasmine taken by Jo Heathcote south of Teshekpuk Lake.

Rock Jasmine taken by Jo Heathcote south of Teshekpuk Lake.

Roseroot

Iñupiaq Name:
Scientific Name: Sedum rosea
Family Name: Crassulaceae
Description
Habitat and NSB locations:
Height
Traditional Uses

Taken by Leslie Pierce near Kaktovik in July

Ross' Sandwort

Iñupiaq Name:
Scientific Name: Minuartia rossii (see also Minuartia arctica)
Family Name: Caryophyllaceae
Description: Leaves short, linear, blunt and triangular in cross-section; packed together in bunches. Flowers solitary, sepals purplish; petals white.
Habitat and NSB locations: Rocky, dry areas.
Height: 2-3 inches.
Traditional Uses: none known

Ross Sandwort taken by Jo Heathcote south of Teshekpuk Lake.

Ross Sandwort taken by Jo Heathcote south of Teshekpuk Lake.

Rusty Saxifrage

Iñupiaq Name:
Scientific Name: Saxifraga hieracifolia
Family Name: Saxifragaceae
Description: Leaves oblong, broad, thick and slightly toothed. Flowering stalk much taller than leaves and very stiff, covered with hairs; flowers greenish to purple along top of stalk; sepals and petals triangular-shaped.
Habitat and NSB locations: Moist tundra.
Height: 6-18 inches
Traditional Uses: none known

Rusty saxifrage taken by Leslie Pierce near Barrow.

Rusty saxifrage taken by Leslie Pierce near Barrow.

Salmonberry (or Cloudberry)

Iñupiaq Name: Aqpik or Akpik
Scientific Name: Rubus chamaemorus
Family Name: Roseaceae
Description: Leaves large, rounded, palmately-lobed; green above with reddish edges. Single flower large with 5 white petals; berries shaped like raspberries, start out reddish-tinged and hard, ripen into juicy, salmon-colored berry. Male and female flowers on different plants.
Habitat and NSB locations: Wet tundra or bogs.
Height: 2-4 inches
Traditional Uses: Eaten freshly picked or boiled, or they were stored in oil. Today they are made into jam, pies or other desserts. Young leaves can also be eaten.
IHLC Specimen: Photo of Salmonberry specimen collected for the NSB Arctic Harvest project in the early 1990's.

Cloudberry taken by Leslie Pierce near Point Lay in early July.

Salmonberry taken by Leslie Pierce near Point Lay in early July.

salmonberry

Salmonberry taken by Leslie Pierce south of Teshekpuk Lake.

Salmonberry taken by Leslie Pierce south of Teshekpuk Lake.

Salmonberries

Salmonberries taken by Leslie Pierce near Point Hope in late August.

Scurvygrass

Iñupiaq Name:
Scientific Name: Cochlearia officinalis
Family Name: Brassicaceae
Description: Leaves spade-shaped in a small flattened rosette near the ground. Groups of white flowers at the end of long stems
Habitat and NSB locations: Gravelly locations throughout the coastal areas of the North Slope.
Height: About 2-3".
Traditional Uses: Leaves are a good source of Vitamin C. Eaten raw or boiled.

Scurvy grass taken by Leslie Pierce near Barrow.

Scurvy grass taken by Leslie Pierce near Barrow.

Sedge

Iñupiaq Name:
Scientific Name: Carex spp. (C. atrofusca, C. bigelowii, C. capillaris, C. chordorrhiza, C. glacialis, C. glareosa, C. loliacea, C. lugens, C. lyngbyei, C. media, C. misandra, C. membranacea, C. nardina, C. obtusata, C. ramenskii, C. rariflora, C. rostrata, C. rotundata, C. rupestris, C. saxatilis, C. scirpoidea, C. subspathacea, C. stans, C. tenuiflora, C. vaginata and others) (see Water Sedge, C. aquatilis)
Family Name: Cyperaceae
Description: Grass-like leaves on strong stems, usually triangular, sometimes rounded. Flowers in one to several large, stiff spikes at end of stem (or culm); brown or blackish to green. Some species have male and female spikes, with the male spike generally located at the top of the stem. Carex species have a bract below each female flower.
Habitat and NSB locations: Usually found in moist areas, but some species are found in dry areas.
Height: From 2 inches to 1 foot or more, depending on the species.
Traditional Uses: none known

Carex subspathacea, several inches tall and found in marshy area surrounding lagoon, north of Barrow. Photo: Leslie Pierce

Sedge taken by Leslie Pierce near the Kukpowruk River in June.
Sedge taken by Leslie Pierce near the Kukpowruk River in June.

Sedge taken by Jo Heathcote near Teshekpuk Lake.

Sedge taken by Jo Heathcote near Teshekpuk Lake.

Sedge taken by Jo Heathcote near Teshekpuk Lake.

Sedge taken by Jo Heathcote near Teshekpuk Lake.

Siberian Aster

Iñupiaq Name:
Scientific Name: Aster sibiricus
Family Name: Asteraceae
Description: Leaves oblong to lance-shaped; serrated on edge near tip. Large flower head with purple ray flowers and yellow disk flowers in center.
Habitat and NSB locations: Rocky areas.
Height: 6-8 inches
Traditional Uses: none known:

Siberian aster taken by Jo Heathcote near Teshekpuk Lake.

Siberian aster taken by Jo Heathcote near Teshekpuk Lake.

Snow Buttercup

Iñupiaq Name: Taqilakisaaq
Scientific Name: Ranunculus nivalis (also have R. pygmaeus, dwarf buttercup, and R. pallasii)
Family Name: Ranunculaceae
Description: Bright green, 3 to 5-lobed leaves and bright yellow flowers. Usually the first flower to bloom for the season.
Habitat and NSB locations: Wet meadows or areas.
Height: About 3" high, but can shoot up to 8" in height later in the summer.
Traditional Uses: None known. Plant is poisonous. DO NOT EAT.

Snow buttercups taken by Leslie Pierce near Barrow.

Snow buttercups taken by Leslie Pierce near Barrow.

buttercups

Snow buttercup taken by Jo Heathcote south of Teshekpuk Lake.

Snow buttercup taken by Jo Heathcote south of Teshekpuk Lake.

Dwarf buttercup taken by Leslie Pierce near NARL outside of Barrow in June.

Soapberry or Soopollalie

Iñupiaq Name: Uqpiŋñaq
Scientific Name: Shepherdia canadensis
Family Name: Elaeagnaceae
Description: Leaves oblong to lance-shaped; green turning reddish through summer. Tall flowering stem tough and reddish at base. Inflorescence a panicle of small greenish to reddish flowers.
Habitat and NSB locations: Gravel bars
Height
Traditional Uses: Used like medicine; stems used to make tea for colds or flu, or used it to wash cuts and scrapes. Edible but bitter tasting.
IHLC Specimen: Photo of Soapberry specimen collected for the NSB Arctic Harvest project in the early 1990's.

Sourdock or Arctic Dock or Wild Spinach

Iñupiaq Name: Quaġaq, Quagaq, Quagak, Quaġak or Quagat
Scientific Name: Rumex arcticus
Family Name: Polygonaceae
Description: Leaves oblong to lance-shaped; green turning reddish through summer. Tall flowering stem tough and reddish at base. Inflorescence a panicle of small greenish to reddish flowers.
Habitat and NSB locations: Wet marsh
Height: 10-14 inches
Traditional Uses: Young, green leaves are edible and slightly sour. Eaten raw or soaked in seal oil or put into soups. Can also eat early flowering shoots. Root is used for medicinal tea.
IHLC Specimen: Photo of Sourdock specimen collected for the NSB Arctic Harvest project in the early 1990's.

Sourdock taken by Chris Finkler near Barrow.

Sourdock taken by Chris Finkler near Barrow.

Sourdock taken by Steve Hastings near Barrow.

Sourdock taken by Steve Hastings near Barrow.

Sphagnum Moss

Iñupiaq Name: Uġru
Scientific Name: Sphagnum spp.
Family Name: Sphagnaceae
Description: Stems form a thick mat, leaves in rosettes around the flexible stems. Color varies from yellows to reds to greens.
Habitat and NSB locations: Wet, boggy areas.
Height:3-4 inches
Traditional Uses: Used for diapering material for infants.
IHLC Specimen: Photo of Sphagnum specimen collected for the NSB Arctic Harvest project in the early 1990's.

Sphagnum moss

Photo of Sphagnum moss with a few grasses and mushrooms. Photo by Chris Finkler near Barrow.

Sphagnum moss

Close up picture of Sphagnum moss. Photo by Karen Hegyi near Barrow.

Spike Trisetum

Iñupiaq Name:
Scientific Name: Trisetum spicatum
Family Name: Poaceae
Description: Tufted grass; brownish-purple spikelike panicle 
Habitat and NSB locations: Dry tundra
Height: 8-12 inches
Traditional Uses: none known

Taken by Leslie Pierce near Kaktovik in July

Starwort

Iñupiaq Name:
Scientific Name: Stellaria spp. (S. humifusa and S. laeta)
Family Name: Caryophyllaceae
Description: Leaves small, lance-shaped, slightly hairy, in pairs along slender stem. Flowers small with 6 bi-lobed white petals.
Habitat and NSB locations: Moist areas.
Height: 3-4 inches
Traditional Uses: none known

Stellaria taken by Jo Heathcote south of Teshekpuk Lake in July

Stellaria taken by Jo Heathcote south of Teshekpuk Lake in July

Stellaria humifusa taken by Sandy Hamilton on the Colville Delta

Stinkweed or Wild Sage

Iñupiaq Name: Sargiġruaq or Sargiq or Salgiġruaq
Scientific Name: Artemisia tilesii
Family Name: Asteraceae
Description: Leaves deeply divided into 3-5 "teeth," green to gray-green; spike of small yellowish-brown flowers.
Habitat and NSB locations: Dry tundra or sandy, rocky areas.
Height: 1 to 2 feet
Traditional Uses: Dry leaves or freeze. Boil in water. Drink 1 cup for colds, congestion, and sore throats, or chew and swallow juice only. Brown leaves picked in full are powdered and used as poultice on infected sores and cuts.
IHLC Specimen: Photo of Stinkweed specimen collected for the NSB Arctic Harvest project in the early 1990's.

Stinkweed taken by Leslie Pierce near Point Lay in early July.

Stinkweed taken by Leslie Pierce near Point Lay in early July.

Stinkweed taken by Leslie Pierce in Colville River Delta in early August.

stinkweed

Sudetic Lousewort

Iñupiaq Name:
Scientific Name: Pedicularis sudetica (see also Pedicularis lanata or P. kanei or P. capitata)
Family Name: Scrophulariaceae
Description: Leaves basal, small and pinnately dissected. Flower spike dense, hairy; top petal pink with purple apex; lower petal whitish to pink with dark pink spots.
Habitat and NSB locations: Wet tundra.
Height: 3-4 inches
Traditional Uses: none known

Sudetic lousewort taken by Jo Heathcote south of Teshekpuk Lake.

Sudetic lousewort taken by Jo Heathcote south of Teshekpuk Lake.

Banner photo credit: Leslie Pierce