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Before consuming wild plants, contact your doctor to make sure it is safe, and make positive identification in the field using a good source such as Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West.  Michael Moore’s books contain an excellent glossary of medical terms, as well as maps. )
#40
Common Name: Yellow Spiderflower, Rocky Mountain Beeplant
Latin Name: Cleome lutea, C. serrulata
Family: Capparidaceae
 
40(a)
Common Name: Yellow Spiderflower (Cleome lutea)
Native American Names: Pokusinop (Warm Springs, Ore. Tribe) (1)
Range: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CLLU2 all states west of the Rocky Mountains, plus Nebraska.
Photos: http://www.google.com/search?q=photos+of+Cleome+lutea&hl=en&biw=1016&bih=588&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=QduyTqP4GYnOiALDoZh_&ved=0CDYQsAQ
Appearance and Habitat: An erect, leafy, 1-3 ft. annual, branching especially in the upper portions of the plant. Palmately compound  leaves bear 3-7 leaflets. Showy, 4-petaled, yellow flowers crowd together in a dense, terminal raceme. Seed pods are long and narrow. A branched plant with palmatelycompound  leaves and racemes of small yellow flowers at the tops.  Leaf color is green, it blooms from May through August.  Habitat: River bottoms; stream banks; sandy flats; desert plains. (2) Sandy soils on desert plains to lower montane valleys, it is also found on sandy flatland in Western N. America – Nebraska to Washington and Arizona.  An annual growing to 1.2 m (4ft).  It is frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August. (3)
Warnings: None (4)
Edible Uses: Young shoots – cooked. Seed – ground into a meal and used as a flour. (5)
Medicinal Uses: The plant has been used to treat ant bites. (6) The whole plant was boiled for tea to reduce fever (7)
Foot Notes: (1, 7,)  Indian Uses of Native Plants by Edith Murphey, page 40, Publisher: Meyerbooks Copy right 1990; ISBN 0-916638-15-4
Foot Notes: ( 3, 4, 5, 6 )
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40 (b)
Common Name: Rocky Mountain Beeplant (Cleome serrulata)
Native American Names: Guaco (Navajo) (1)
Range: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CLSE all states west of the Mississippi (excluding Louisiana and Arkansas) all states north of the Ohio River plus New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Maine, all of lower Canada.
Appearance and Habitat:   Annual with erect stem  is leafy and branching above.  Leaflets occur in threes. Branched stems have palmately compound  leaves and, in racemes at ends of branches, pink or reddish-purple flowers (sometimes white). Showy clusters of pink flowers continue to elongate during the season, so that the slender seed capsules may be present even while the upper portion of the inflorescence  in still flowering. Six conspicuous  stamens protrude beyond the pink petals. Rocky Mountain beeplant may attain 4-5 ft.  Flowers produce copious nectar and attract bees, hence the common name. Indians boiled the strong leaves for food and as a stomachache remedy. In times of drought early Spanish-Americans made tortillas from the barely palatable but nourishing seeds.  Bloom color is white to pink and the plant blooms from July to September. (2) Waste lands, plains and lower mountains, often on sandy soils.  An annual growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).  It is frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August. (3) Warnings: None (4)
Edible Uses: Young shoots, leaves and flowers are cooked and used as potherbs. The plants were gathered and, after removing an alkaline taste, were eaten with cornmeal porridge. The plant smells like a skunk, but it was an important potherb for the native North American Indians and the early European settlers in America. Seed – raw or cooked. It can be dried and ground into a meal then used as a mush or mixed with flour to make bread etc. Seedpods – cooked. The hardened cakes of dyestuff (see note on the plants other uses) can be soaked in hot water and then eaten fried. (5)
Medicinal Uses: An infusion of the plant is drunk in the treatment of fevers and stomach disorders. A poultice made from the pounded, soaked leaves has been applied to sore eyes. (6)
Other Uses: A black dye is obtained by boiling down the whole plant. It is used as a paint for decorating pottery. The young plants are harvested in mid-summer, boiled well in water, the woody parts of the plant are removed and the decoction is boiled again until it becomes thick and turns black. This thick liquid is then poured onto a board to dry in cakes and can be kept for an indefinite period. When needed it is soaked in hot water until the correct consistency for paint is achieved. A decoction of the leaves has been used as a body and shoe deodorant (7)
 Foot Notes: (1)  Indian Uses of Native Plants by Edith Murphey, page 64, Publisher: Meyerbooks Copy right 1990; ISBN 0-916638-15-4
Foot Notes: (3, 4, 5, 6, 7 )
Reproduced, in part, (as well as previous postings under this title) in accordance with Section 107 of title 17 of the Copyright Law of the United States relating to fair-use and is for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.
 
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