Yellow Evening Primrose: Walking with Bear Tracks.

Oenothera spp.
Family: Onagraceae

this species: Oenothera hookeri

I like the name.

Yellow Evening Primrose


Habitat: Sea Level to 9,000 feet. It is common in mountainous areas of the U.S.
It also grows along streams, fallow fields, watersheds, roadsides, wet areas.

Evening Primrose in New Mexico.








Medicinal Use:

According to Michael Moore, Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West.,

The Root can be chopped fresh or dried, covered with twice its volume in honey. Boil this slowly. It makes a soothing and somewhat antispasmodic cough syrup.

The top of the plant can also be used similarly.

Diuretic effect
Some laxative effect
Can suppress skeletal and smooth muscle pain, in particular: the reproductive organs.

Evening Primrose is variable in its effects due to particular affinities a person may have with the plant. Effects differ also according to species and habitat.

It is recommended to try it, since some people respond particularly well. And it is a fairly common plant and does well in gardens. It may even pop up as a volunteer as it has at my workplace’s herbal garden.

Recommended Dose:

One to Three teaspoons of the root or leaf in tea.

The seeds are highly nutritious and contain amidst other things: linoleic acid and varying amounts if gamma-linoleic acid. (GLA)

When the seed capsules open at the top you can tip the branch and the capsules will release seeds into your container.

Michael Moore, herbalist, suggests to grind the seeds and add to flaxseed oil. Keep cold/refrigerated or just grind what is needed at a time.

Evening Primrose Oil contained in the seeds has many touted health benefits for autoimmune disorders such as: eczema, psoriasis, scleroderma and rheumatoid arthritis.

For some people, the plant’s overall positive effect on organs such as liver, spleen, and musculo-skeletal systems helps people feel better, thus is mood/state of being enhancing.

Foraging Tips:

The whole plant is edible. The roots are peppery and like a turnip/parsnip when raw. Often boiled.

Young leaves best, do have hairs. Good as a potherb.

Seeds are edible, see above.

The flowers have a mild cucumber taste. We found them delicious and very pleasant tasting.


Fun to read about, exciting to find!

Evening primrose… A plant I have been hoping to find. I found it this year. My friend, in Massachusetts, has some in her garden and I spotted some on a favorite mental health and nature enjoyment walk.


My father died recently and I flew home, by wings of an airplane, to visit him, help with his hospice care and be with family. From the base of the Ortiz mountains to a suburban town, southwest of Boston, Massachusetts.

10 miles from the ocean.


This area, charming by means of cranberry bogs and small New England ponds. Grass lawns, woods, occasional spots of enclosed meadow flowers. And a fire access lane filled with wildflowers, milkweeds, wild blueberries, huckleberries and Evening Primrose!

Along a humble path- access lane (divine to me) that was a 5 minute walk from my parents home.

While my father was in the hospital, before or after visiting him there, I would often walk here or to the nearby pond for a few minutes.




And John’s Pond, with cranberry bogs across the way.

a diary style picture of myself, at the pond, in the lifesaving chair…early in the day before families arrived to play and swim.


My dad was clean, re-positioned, comfortable and loved. Final days of hospice care at home. These short walks, the equivalent time of a brief bath or shower, really saved me. And was not understood by everyone.

Before my dad came home for hospice care, and in the between times of waiting to visit him at the hospital… in New England,
I wildcrafted herbs.
And did I ever!

I even found an Elderberry tree in a recess and dip in the woods, a few yards away from my parents house. The irony did not escape me. Elder.


I got a lot of satisfaction, too, harvesting plantain from my parents’ lawn.


New England, where I turned the experience of loss into healing.
On so many levels. As we all do.

I did it in a way that brought me relief, joy and sanity. Making Herbal tinctures, salves, herbal oils and herbal tea jellies and wild berry jellies.



I shared the jellies (made jellies for the first time) and showed family how to make medicated herbal salves… which we also used on my father for the arthritis in his neck and back.

The nature spirits guided me and helped me cope.

I was so happy to find Evening Primrose in New England which brought my search full circle to my original home.

I feel that plants choose their times of alliance in the wild and gardens. And, I am grateful.

Thankyou to this New England Evening Primrose!


Imagine my happiness and joy when returning to New Mexico, shortly after my father’s funeral, I found Evening Primrose growing in wild stretches near the lake dam I was camping at. Nature spirits truly divined a magical experience!



And I was welcomed back to New Mexico with flying colors. Literally.image


Near the fields of Evening Primroses, I also saw bear tracks. A mother bear with her cubs. Truly awe inspiring!






evening primrose herbal uses

FES flower essence qualities: yellow evening primrose

Thankyou for taking this plant and animal track journey with me. Plants as allies through all of our experiences. And, Evening Primrose led me to the Majestic Mama bear and her cubs.




And, my bountiful tincture!


tincture where you are


Sources: Posted Website links
and this book source specifically:

Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West. by Michael Moore, Nuseum of New Mexico Press, Santa Fe. 2003.

And, the beautiful desert primrose I found this year alongside desert roads…




About wildlettucegal

certified plant lover 😀

Posted on August 23, 2015, in Forage, Forage and Wildcraft, healing herb, Herbal apothecary, Herbal Preparations, Herbal Tinctures, New Mexico Wildcrafting, recipes and foodways, southwest, wild edibles and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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