Welcome to Wildcrafting Wednesday! Cota, or Hopi Tea is a culturally significant plant for New Mexico. This is a beautiful bundle of flowers in the Asteraceae family, that grow in bunches throughout New Mexico. You will see this plant along roadsides, in urban areas, as well as throughout the natural landscape. Traditionally this plant has been used for dyes as well as drunk as a pleasant tea for a variety of ailments such as stomach issues, headaches, fevers, and fatigue.
This perennial herb contains green, opposite, pinnate leaves which have coined the plant #greenthread because of their thread-like nature. The inviting little yellow flowers sit on top of the long and slender stems”. It grows at an elevation between 4,000 and 7,000 feet and lends itself well to the dry soils of this state. This plant is so popular you may find it cultivated on traditional farms. Harvest the plant during the fall after it has set seed and has begun to put the energy back into the ground. This is the “sweetest” time to harvest the plant and the sugars will be more prominent during this time. Sun dry for a couple hours, bundle and store or make an enjoyable tea to take you into the winter months. Remember when harvesting to have the utmost respect for this plant (like all plants) as it is revered plant by traditional peoples. Never harvest more than 20% of any plant population in a given area.