star, button snakeroot, starwort Uses Dotted gayfeather is a forage or browse species that is eaten by deer, antelope, and domestic livestock, especially sheep. The forage quality is rated as fair to good. This plant will decrease under continuous heavy grazing. Many species of butterflies, bees and other native pollinators visit the flowers in full bloom. American Indians used the dotted gayfeather for food and medicinal purposes. Kindscher (1987) indicated that the root was used for food and was either baked or boiled before being consumed by Native American Plant Guide tribes. Kindscher (1992) listed a host of medicinal uses that the Plains Indian tribes had for dotted gayfeather. The Blackfeet used boiled root to reduce swelling, the Omaha’s powdered the root and applied it as a poultice for external inflammation. They also made a tea from the plant to treat abdominal troubles. The Pawnees boiled the leaves and roots together and fed the tea to children with diarrhea. The root was also used as an antidote for snake bites. Gayfeathers are becoming more popular for ornamental use, especially fresh floral arrangements and winter bouquets (Stubbendieck et al. 1989). If picked at their prime and allowed to dry out of the sunlight then spikes will retain their color and can be used in dry plant arrangements. This species also offers much promise for roadside plantings in th
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