Common Evening Primrose
Oenothera biennis
Family Onagraceae

* Flowers yellow, with 4 petals, an X-shaped stigma in the center of the flower, and reflexed sepals, arranged all around the leafy stalk.
* Leaves rough-hairy, narrow, and pointed, arranged in a rosette, oposite on the stem, branches often reddish.
* Height: 1-5'.

Natural History:
* Flowers June - September.
* Habitat: Dry soils, meadows and other open places, often planted in perennial gardens.
* Range: Throughout the United States.
* Native.

* Evening primrose gets its name from its unusual behavior. The flowers open in the evening, anywhere between 4:00 and 10:00 pm. Once open, it releases its sweet fragrance and attracts many night-flying moths.

* Unlike most of the wildflowers found in America today, which were introduced from Europe, the evening primrose is native to North America and has actually spread across the Atlantic, turning the tables of flower migration.

* Oil produced by evening primrose seeds is now being used for experimental medicinal purposes. Scientists believe it could prove useful for treating disorders such as excema, migraine headaches, asthma, arthritis, and alcoholism.


Created by: Allaire Diamond and Jiasuey Hsu
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: July 31, 1998
Last Modified: November 21, 2008