Aug. 29, 2017

osha, Ligusticum porteri

Yesterday I briefly blogged about the 'wild' epithet for columbine. Now here's a real common name story. Osha is derived from a number of native languages. The Navajo had a myth about the bear rubbing the root on itself, and eating it, then leading them to strong medicine. But there are at least 29 other names. The most used Anglicized one is Porter's licorice-root. Others are, according to Wikipedia, Osha root, Porter's lovage, lovage, wild lovage, Porter's wild lovage, loveroot, Porter's ligusticum, bear root, bear medicine, Colorado cough root, Indian root, Indian parsley, mountain ginseng, mountain carrot, nipo, chuchupate, chuchupati, guariaca, hierba del cochino, raiz del cochino, and washi. And then there's my favorite, empress of the dark forest. Osha grows in mountains in AZ, CO, MT, NM, NV, UT, WY, and northern Mexico. San Juan Co CO, 6/22/13.