Navajo Spinach - Keet Seel trail - Navajo National Monument
Lots of Navajo spinach in bloom on our hike up Keet Seel canyon.
Beeweed is a grass that is an important plant with many uses. It was boiled to a syrupy black consistency that was then used as a binder in pigment. The pigment was used by Native Americans to paint pottery (Hermanson 1997). The greens of the plant were often used in cooking and the seeds were also edible (Matthews and Peterson 2002). Beeweed also has medicinal properties. This plant has been cultivated in many different regions and the leaves have a tar-like smell. This plant is also related to capers (Van Ness 2001
Cleome serrulata (Rocky Mountain beeweed, Rocky Mountain bee-plant, spider-flower, stinking-clover, Navajo spinach) is a species of Cleome, native to western North America from southern British Columbia, east to Minnesota and Illinois, and south to New Mexico and northernmost California. It is also naturalized further east in North America.