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California Plants Used in Native American Basketry

  • Beargrass
  • Bracken fern root
  • Milkweed fiber
  • Willow sticks and roots
  • Redbud branches
  • Alder bark (used as a dye, primarily from Creek Alder)
  • Sedge root
  • Yucca
  • Woodwardia fern (often dyed with Alder bark)
  • Wolf lichen – higher altitude plants yield a yellow dye that’s used to dye basketry materials, including porcupine quills
  • Sumac
  • Soaproot (mostly used to create brushes from the roots)
  • Juncus – one of the primary weft materials in Southern California
  • Devil’s claw – the pods are used as a material for black basketry designs
  • Spruce roots
  • Maidenhair fern

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