Selected Plants of Navajo Rangelands

Take care of our Navajo Rangelands

Navajo tea
Ch’ilgohwéhí’deí
(a.k.a. Thelesperma subnudum)

Slightly brushy growth habit with much taller inflorescences

Navajo tea is native to Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, and Nevada up through Idaho. It is a member of the aster family. The plants grow to a height of about one foot. The leaves are primarily basal, thin and long, growing in a tuft. Leaves are smooth in texture. Like other asters, the flowers have outer florets (called ray flowers) and a central disk with tiny flowers (called disk flowers).

Thelesperma subnudum, a close relative of Thelesperma megapotamicum, is also known as Navajo tea.

This plant was traditionally used to make tea and dye. Navajo tea flowers May to September and makes fruit July to September.

Dry flower showing the many parts that constitute the flower (ray flowers and disk flowers)
Foliage, which is very linear and thin, needlelike
A flower in bloom with a bulbous base and protruding yellow ray flowers
Plant with long spindly stems with narrow leaves and a yellow flower
Long spindly stem with narrow leaves and a yellow flower
Plant with many tall spindly stems with narrow leaves and yellow flowers growing amidst grass.
Close-up of yellow flower and partially dried up spent flower on spindly stem, lying on a table

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