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Cal Poly Pomona

Plants

There are over 200 different species of plants in Aasuíngna, from California and the surrounding regions. Almost all of these plants have been used by the Tongva and other indigenous people, and many are ecological dominants in their native range.

Mánit (Datura wrightii) is a sacred plant to the Tongva and many other tribes. Its poisonous alkaloids, used with care and in small quantities, provided shamanic visions. (Used without care, mánit brings death. Don’t eat any wild plant unless you know what you are doing.)

Wet is the Tongva name for the coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia). These great trees live for hundreds of years (there is a magnificent specimen near BioTrek that predates the campus and the city of Pomona). Their acorns provide wéwish, the porridge that was a staple of the Tongva diet.

Tépish is a native onion (Allium haematochiton), used for food and medicine. Mantáka, California blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium bellum), is another plant with medicinal uses.

Many of the medicinal uses recorded by ethnobotanists are not well-established. But the Tongva know what many have forgotten, that plants also heal the spirit.

Datura wrightii

Mánit

Quercus agrifolia leaves

Wet

Quercus agrifolia acorns

Wet

Allium haematochiton

Tépish

Sisyrinchium bellum

Mantáka