White Mule's Ears
Wyethia helianthoides Nutt.
Herbaceous with leafy stems and large taproots. Has very large heads with yellow or white rays. The leaves are long and elliptical and pointed, resembling the ears of a mule, growing on the stem as well as at the base of the plant. It produces two or more heads per stem, the central one larger than the others. Flowers differ from the Northern Mule's Ears by being somewhat hairy and producing solitary heads with two inch white rays. Blooms from May to the first part of July. Grows in sandy loam or gravel, sometimes with sagebrush, but most often in the moist soil of meadows. Found by Wyeth in the valleys of the Rocky Mountains, probably west of Montana.
The root is cooked. The native North American Indians dug pits in the ground which they lined with large stones. They then burnt a fire on top of the stones until the stones were hot. The roots were placed on these hot stones, sealed in with fern leaves and earth and then fermented for one or two days. (PFAF)
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