Today we hiked the Continental Divide Trail running south from our camping area in the Gila National Forest. I came upon this cute little flower along the trail. It’s the only one I saw for the entire distance that we hiked. I identified it as an evening primrose initially and, upon further investigation, I think it is the Oenothera albicaulis or White-stemmed Primrose.
I stumbled upon an interesting database while researching this plant called the Native American Ethnobotany Database. It lists this plant as both a food source and a medicinal/ceremonial plant used by Native Americans. The web page for this plant references a number of articles containing data regarding the use of this plant by Apache, Chiricahua, Mescalero, Navajo and Hopi tribes. Fascinating!
The trail climbed gradually from camp and leveled out onto a high plateau with sweeping views towards southern New Mexico.