HOPI TEA or GREEN THREAD (Thelesperma filifolium), also known as Navajo Tea, is beautiful member of the aster family. Brilliant 2" open yellow flowers with dark centers atop thin thread-like foliage (hence the name). Native to the American Great Plains, and listed by the Ark of Taste. Has a taproot so it can withstand dry periods but loves a good soak. Plants grow 2' high and bloom March-June and sometimes again in the Fall if you deadhead them. Attracts butterflies in droves. Annual/Short-lived Perennial. 25 Seeds.
MEDICINAL: The Hopi and Navajo used the dried plant to make a tasty dark red tea with the stems and leaves that is a good treatment for urinary tract infection and as an anti-inflammatory and pain relief. To make the tea, harvest the plant as the flower buds open, by cutting it to within 2-3 inches above the soil. Wash and let dry completely. Fold the dried plant into little 4" bundles tied with string and store. Boil a bundle of the herb in 6 cups of water for 5 minutes and serve. Makes a nice aromatic tea -- much like jasmine tea -- that many do not think needs to be sweetened.
OTHER USES: The entire plant can be used as a yellow dye source (not sure what mordant works best).
GROWING TIPS: Prefers neutral to basic pH soils and adaptive to loam, clay, and caliche. Germinates in 2-3 weeks, but 3 weeks cold stratification will enhance germination percentage.