Calandrinia menziesii, Red maids seed.
CA native wildflower, Red maids, Calandrinia menziesii, is an annual flowering herb of the Montiaceae (miner’s lettuce) family. With a tinser fuchsia bloom, it's a spring wildflower, close to the gravelly, poor sandy, or loamy ground.
Calandrinia menziesii is an early colonizer of disturbed areas, developing in abundance following fire because of the increase in nutrients and the decrease in competing grasses.
Many insects, birds, and small mammals eat this seeds. So do people.
Red maids produce quantities of small, shiny black seeds. Each tiny fruit capsule contains 10-20 seeds, easy to collect.
Nutrient rich, the seeds are a major ingredient in pinole-from the Aztec word for seed flour, pinolli. But, According to Jan Timbrook in her book Chumash Ethnobotany, for the Chumash, Calandrinia, xutash, khutash, or pil seed, was highly esteemed for food, trade, and offering.
"The Chumash harvested and stored qualities of seed in large baskets in their houses. As needed, people would take out small amounts and toast and grind them for food. When pounded, the seeds made an oily dough which was easily gathered up into balls with the fingers...
For the Chumash, perhaps even more important than food was the use of Red maids seeds in ritual offerings. ...when visiting a sacred spring to collect water for curing the sick, a person with scatter offerings of pil, chia (salvia columbariae), shell beads, and tobacco around the edges of the water hole... Similar offerings were left at other kinds of shrine as well, and also placed in graves.
Archaeological evidence confirms this information. These seeds have been found in sites (in one site, containing twelve quarts or more) throughout Chumash land."
Honoring, reading. While reading about Datura, Red maids. Open a container: Calandrinia menziesii seed. #growlocalgrowlife #californianative #unschooling #knowthegroundbeneathyourfeet #scienceiscool #plantswag #canativeplants #findingwildla 💖 #seeds