Portfolio: Medicinal Plants of the Sicangu Lakota
Asclepias speciosa. © 1sagebrush7
Lakota Name: Paŋnuńpala
Listen to Lakota Plant Name: Paŋnuńpala
Scientific name: Asclepias speciosa
Common name: Showy milkweed
Lakota Medicinal uses: Lakota resource lists showy milkweed as a medicinal but doesnt specify it's use.
Secondary compounds: Showy milkweed plants contain cardiac glycosides, making the material poisonous on ingestion. These glycosides cause electrolyte imbalances in heart muscle, resulting in arrhythmias and cardiac failure. Milkweeds can also produce proteinases in their latex. Milkweed produces the glycoside asclepain which is a proteinase that has been isolated from the latex of the showy milkweed. A proteinase is any enzyme that conducts proteolysis, that is, begins protein catabolism by hydrolysis of the peptide bonds that link amino acids together in the polypeptide chain. There are similarities between its properties and that of papain and bromelain both of which are known to be toxic.
Description and habitat: Showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) is a native perennial forb (non-woody plant with flowers) that grows from sea level to over 6,200 feet in elevation. It occurs in pastures and meadows, along streamsides, riparian zones, and ditch banks, and in waste areas. Regardless of specific location, this plant inhabits areas that remain moist through much of the summer.
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Asclepias speciosa © 2003 gwarcita
Distribution in South Dakota: Common in dry to moist prairies over the state. The USDA Plant Database indicates that it is present in most counties across the state.
Distribution by State: AZ, CA, CO, IA, ID, IL, KS, MI, MN, MT, ND, NE, NM, NV, OK, OR, SD, TX, UT, WA, WI, WY
The only state the plant is endangered in is Iowa.
U.S. Weed Information: This plant can be weedy or invasive. It may be known by one or more common names in different places.
Information on the Internet
State Education Standards
- South Dakota Education Standards
- 9-12.L.1.1. Students are able to relate cellular functions and processes to specialized structures within cells.
- 9-12.L.1.2. Students are able to classify organisms using characteristics and evolutionary relationships of major taxa.
- 9-12.S.1.1. Students are able to explain ethical roles and responsibilities of scientists and scientific research.
- 9-12.S.1.2. Students are able to evaluate and describe the impact of scientific discoveries on historical events and social, economic, and ethical issues.
- 9-12.N.1.1. Students are able to evaluate a scientific discovery to determine and describe how societal, cultural, and personal beliefs influence scientific investigations and interpretations.
- 9-12.N.2.1. Students are able to apply science process skills to design and conduct student investigations. (Synthesis)
- 9-12.N.2.2. Students are able to practice safe and effective laboratory techniques.
National Education Standards
- National Education Standards
CONTENT STANDARD A: As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop
- Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
- Understandings about scientific inquiry
CONTENT STANDARD B: As a result of their activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop an understanding of
- Structure of atoms
- Structure and properties of matter
- Chemical reactions
- Motions and forces
- Conservation of energy and increase in disorder
- Interactions of energy and matter
CONTENT STANDARD C: As a result of their activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop understanding of
- The cell
- Molecular basis of heredity
- Biological evolution
- Interdependence of organisms
- Matter, energy, and organization in living systems
- Behavior of organisms
CONTENT STANDARD E: As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop
- Abilities of technological design
- Understandings about science and technology
CONTENT STANDARD F: As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop understanding of
- Personal and community health
- Population growth
- Natural resources
- Environmental quality
- Natural and human-induced hazards
- Science and technology in local, national, and global challenges
CONTENT STANDARD G: As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop understanding of
- Science as a human endeavor
- Nature of scientific knowledge
- Historical perspectives
About This Page
Classroom Project: Medicinal Plants of the Lakota Sioux
Lead-Deadwood High School
Lead, South Dakota United States
License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0
Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to , Lead-Deadwood High School
Page copyright © 2008 1sagebrush7
Treehouses are authored by students, teachers, science enthusiasts, or professional scientists. Anyone can sign up as a treehouse contributor and share their knowledge and enthusiasm about organisms. Treehouse contributions are checked for general accuracy and quality by teachers and ToL editors, but they are not usually reviewed by expert scientists. If you spot an error, please get in touch with the author or the teacher. For more information about quality control of Tree of Life content, see Status of Tree of Life Pages.
About This Portfolio
I would like to acknowledge the following individuals for their help with this project:
- Rev. Raymond Bucko S.J., Creighton University Department of Sociology and Anthropology
- My student mentor Devan, Kim Loeffen, Tony Beisiot, Wade Mackey, and Sharon Burns for their technical help.
- F.J. Doody, Buechel Memorial Museum, St. Francis, S.D.
- Ben Black Bear Jr. for his audio of Lakota names, St. Francis, S.D. (Author of the Introduction of Dilwyn Rogers' Book of Father Buechel's research.)
- Katja Schulz Managing Editor ToL
- And mostly, my students for their perserverence!
Lead-Deadwood High School
Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Robin Cochran-Dirksen at
Page copyright © 2008 Robin Cochran-Dirksen