Greenthread - Hopi Tea (Thelesperma filifolium) Dye Thelesperma Navajo Tea Wildflower Flower
Height 16 to 30 in
Green Thread, also known as Stiff Greenthread or Thelesperma, is a genus of North American and South American plants in the cosmos category within the sunflower family. Greenthread is a common name for plants in this genus.
This winter annual, or short-lived perennial, is often found growing in colonies and produces yellow daisy like flowers that are excellent for use in dyes. Its slender, branched stems, bear leaves that are divided into thread-like segments - hence the common name. When in bud, the flower heads droop and when fully opened, they are completely upright.
The herb is collected, dried, bundled and made into a smoky, delicious tasting beverage. It is also a dye plant, producing colours ranging from yellow, to rust, to orange. Flowers and tips of young leaves dried, boiled and used to make tea to relieve stomach aches and other digestive ailments. Unsweetened, the tea tastes slightly sweet and mild, aromatic like a standard green tea. Medicinally, Greenthread tea is a mild diuretic and is consequently recognized as beneficial for the kidneys and it is also used to reduce fevers, to treat kidney problems, to 'purify the blood' against gonorrhea, as a vermifuge (to expel intestinal worms), and as a stimulant for the nervous system- may be applied as a mouthwash to reduce tooth pain.
Blooms May to October typically; rich in nectar and attracts many beneficial pollinators and butterflies
- Full sun
- well draining sandy soil
- Seeds require a short period of cold/moist conditions prior to germination.
Seedlings look like grass.
Direct sow in late fall or early spring
- OR start seeds indoors 5 to 6 weeks prior to the last frost. Sow seed in pots using a sandy mix, and cover sparingly, tamp securely, and keep evenly moist and in the light.
- Provide 14 to 45 days cold, moist refrigeration, then sow in warm conditions.
- Transplant outdoors when the risk of frost has passed.
- Germination: 3 to 4 weeks.
- Spacing: 6 to 7 in
- Seed Count: 25