Secretary of Natural Resources Office

Ethnobiology

Plants and animals have always held places of importance to the Cherokee people. Below are a few plants and animals that have significant meaning to Cherokees.

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  • Bald Eagle
    Perching and flying higher than other birds, no other bird is considered as sacred as the Bald Eagle.
  • Black Walnut
    The black walnut mainly grows in bottomland flood plains but also can be found on hilltops where the seeds were most likely planted by squirrels.
  • Blackberry
    Blackberries have been used as a food for many generations by Cherokees. Blackberry plants have also been used in medicine.
  • Bloodroot
    Bloodroot can be found growing just about anywhere in the Cherokee Nation. It is short-lived and goes dormant during mid-summer after the seeds mature.
  • Blue Heron
    Great blue herons typically are found wading near the shoreline of any water body looking for fish, crayfish, frogs, salamanders, and any other food.
  • Buckbrush
    Buckbrush has been used for many generations by Cherokees in such crafts as basketry and other forms of weaving.
  • Cardinal
    Cardinals can be found throughout Cherokee Nation as well as in the Cherokee ancestral homelands in the eastern United States.