Bee Weed

DESCRIPTION: Also known as Rocky Mountain Beeplant. Annual dicot. Native to the U.S.. Widespread throughout most parts of the United States at elevations under 8,500 ft, on waste lands, sandy soils, and lower mountain slopes. This member of the caper family was collected in quantity by pre-historic peoples in the Southwest for food, medicine, and dye. It is one of the few wild foods still collected and used.
An infusion of the plant is used to treat stomach illnesses and fevers. Poultices of bee weed can be used on the eyes. The leaves, flowers and shoots can be eaten as a ‘potherb’; native peoples eat the plants cooked in cornmeal porridge. The seeds can be eaten raw, cooked, or dried and ground into a meal, to be cooked as mush. The whole plant was boiled down into a thick syrup which was used for painting pottery. A decoction of this syrup was also used as “a body and shoe deodorant” (2).



1) (Google)


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This page was authored by Vanessa Cornell