Thursday, July 22, 2010

Evening Primrose

Evening primrose, or oenothera biennis, grows wild all over our yard. As the seeds mature I gather them and throw them for the next year's crop. It's such a lovely flower, similar to a four-leafed clover in shape. It is considered to be a weed, and like other "white men's foot prints" appears where the land has been disturbed, though it may be quickly crowded out by other, more successful, plants.

While some consider it a weed, I consider it old-fashioned, tall spires with simple yellow flowers that seem to bloom one at a time. It's not at all showy

Roots, and young leaves may be consumed. The plant has astringent and sedative properties and can be used to make a tea. It has been used to cure asthma and respiratory problems, gastro-intestinal disorders, and to speed heeling. Its common name is King's cure all.

The seeds contain gamma-linoleic and linoleic acid. Oil from the seeds has been used to alleviate pain associated with menstruation and menopause.

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