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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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  • Cottonmouth
    Cottonmouths typically are found near permanent water sources with plenty of cover. They are quick to show their cottony-looking mouths if bothered.
  • Cottontail
    Eastern cottontail rabbits are found throughout much of the eastern United States.
  • Dogwood
    Dogwood leaves have been used for treatments of skin infections and rashes due to certain antiseptic and disinfectant properties.
  • Eastern Red Cedar
    Eastern Red Cedar can be found in just about every type of habitat, throughout all of Oklahoma, except the Panhandle.
  • Gray Squirrel
    Gray squirrels can be found in almost any habitat in northeast Oklahoma but prefer areas that have mast-producing trees, such as oak, hickory, pecan, walnut.
  • Great Egret
    Great egrets can be found anywhere there is a shoreline. Although not as common as the great blue heron, they can be found in the same locations.
  • Huckleberry
    Huckleberries, when not eaten raw, are used in baking and are put in such food as pancakes and breads, and jellies and jams are also made from the sweet fruit.