Sweet Fern - Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Ohkehteau (Plants of the Earth): A Shinnecock Oral History

Ohkehteau (Plants of the Earth): A Shinnecock Oral History - Sweet Fern

Sweet Fern (Comptonia peregrina)
Discovery Garden, Native Flora Garden
Running time 0:36

I think sweet fern is the best-smelling insect repellent you could ever find. You can pick some, crush it up, and rub it on your skin to repel insects and to stop itching. This plant gets its name because of its beautiful fragrance from the leaves. Sweet fern has very long and narrow leaves and is bright green. It can be found in dry, open woods and roadsides. It blooms from May to August. When inhaled, it can help clear the lungs.

Plants of the Earth

Ohkehteau (Plants of the Earth): A Shinnecock Oral History highlights native plants around Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the ways that Indigenous peoples use and know them. On your self-guided tour, hear Chenae Bullock tell stories passed down to her and describe traditional uses for plants, including medicines that have been used for thousands of years

Hear all the stories.

“It’s hard to protect what you cannot recognize. This tour was made with good intent to share the value of the plants and in turn, protect our Earth.” —Chenae Bullock

  • A brown-skinned woman with indigenous face paint, beaded headband and feather earrings looks skyward

    Chenae Bullock is an enrolled Shinnecock Indian Nation tribal member and a descendant of the Montauk Tribe in Long Island, New York. Chenae is a community leader, water protector, cultural preservationist, Indigenous perspective historian, and humanitarian and has worked at many accredited Indigenous museums. She is the author of 50 Plant Medicines: Indigenous Oral History and Perspective, on which this exhibit is based.

Image, top of page: Sarah Schmidt