Monday, August 27, 2018

Wasatch Wildflowers: Cleome serrulata, Rocky Mountain beeplant

Cleome serrulata is common across North America.

Insects are attracted to it, especially bees, which helps in the pollination of nearby plants. It is native to southern Canada and western and central United States. C. serrulata is an important cultural plant for many Southwestern Indian tribes. The young, tender shoots and leaves are good sources of vitamin A and calcium. In the past they were used as potherbs or medicinally as teas for fevers and other ailments. The seeds were ground and used to make gruel or bread.

The Navajo still use the plant as a source of yellow-green dye for their beautiful wool rugs and blankets. Many pueblo tribes use a concentrated form of dye, made from boiling the plant into a thick black resin, to paint designs on pottery or for decorating their baskets

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