Ethnobotany. It was a medicinal plant among the Navajo-Ramah who used the seed pod ashes applied to burns. They called it a “life-medicine” and used poultices of plant or root or large swellings, internal injuries and throat troubles. As mentioned in “The Ethnobotany of the Ramah Navaho”, Papers of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology 4. Vestal, Paul A., 1952.
Description from the Jepson. Herbaceous, low-growing perennials, stems absent, herbage minutely strigose with glandular hairs, plants from fleshy taproots. Leaves: Alternate, sessile, fleshy, in basal rosettes, oblanceolate to oblong in outline and irregularly pinnately lobed, 3-36 cm long. Flowers: Yellow fading pale orange, large and showy with 4 notched petals with rounded lobes 10-38 mm long, sepals 10-34 mm long, the free tips in bud 1-5 mm long, hypanthium 24-150 mm long, flowers borne in axils. Fruits: Narrowly ovate to elliptic, loculicidal capsules, 10-40 mm long and 4-7 mm wide, with wings 2-6 mm wide. Seeds obliquely wedge-shaped, 1-2.5 mm long, minutely beaded and narrow-winged distally and along 1 margin. Ecology: Found on clay soils in drying depressions, damp flats, meadows, streambanks, and sagebrush scrub to pi-on/juniper woodland communities, from 2,500-9,000 ft (762-2743 m); flowering April-September. Distribution: Occurring mainly in the western half of the United States, including Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah, also in Mexico. Notes: This Oenothera has bright yellow flowers that fade pinkish, and leaves which are highly variable in shape. A handy key for this species is the length of the tips of the sepals in bud, they are 1-5 mm long in this species, and less than or to 1 mm long in Oenothera deltoides.