Oenothera 

(ee-no-theer' ah)

Common name: Evening Primrose, Sundrop

Family: Onagraceae, Evening Primrose

Height x width: 6-24" x 12-18" depending on species

Growth rate, habit: moderate to fast; spreading

Foliage: alternate, lanceolate 2-4" long, softly hairy

Flowers: white to pink or yellow, 1"-4" wide, some with scent, in upper leaf axils; early to mid summer; some species flower at night (nocturnal) opening in the evening (vespertine), others only flower in day (diurnal) closing at night

Hardiness: zones 3-7 or 8

Soil: well-drained, tolerates and spreads less in dry, infertile soils

Light: sun

Pests and Problems: root rot in wet soils, botrytis blight of flowers in wet weather

Landscape habit, uses: raised beds or rock gardens, slopes, poor soil sites, meadows, small masses in borders where tends to be aggressive

Other interest: genus name is Greek for wine tasting, refering to supposed use of roots of some species as food with after-dinner wines; native to U.S.

Other culture: see notes under landscape uses and soils; speciosa tolerates heat and humidity of South being native to that region; cut back species unattractive after flowering for rosette development

Propagation: seed, division, stem or root cuttings which root readily

Species:

Of the main species seen in commerce, summarized in the table below, the following couple are the most commonly seen with their cultivars.

fruticosa (fruu-ti-co' sah)--Common Sundrops, club-shaped seed capsule

macrocarpa (ma-crow-car' pah)(missouriensis)--Ozark Sundrops or Missouri Evening Primrose (from native region); solitary, papery, lemon yellow funnel shaped flowers

speciosa (spee-cee-o' sah)--Showy Evening Primrose (although diurnal flowering), native to south central U.S., some cultivars scented
 
 Species zones height flowers bloom other
berlandieri:speciosa 'Rosea'          
biennis 4-8 4-8' yellow nocturnal variable, biennial, reseeds
caespitosa 4-7 4-8" white, pink nocturnal fragrant, native to western U.S.
fruticosa 4-8 18-24" yellow diurnal many of better cultivars
drummondii 6-9 4-18" pale yellow diurnal native to sandy seashore beaches
glazioviana 3-8 3-4' yellow, reddish nocturnal buds twirl open
lamarkiana:glazioviana          
macrocarpa 5-8 18-24" yellow nocturnal  
missouriensis:macrocarpa          
odorata:glazioviana          
pallida          
perennis 3-8 12-24" yellow diurnal nodding flowers
pumila:perennis          
speciosa 5-8 12-24" white, rose diurnal spreads rapidly, better in West
tetragona:fruticosa ssp. glauca          

 


Cultivars:
 
Cultivar species flowers other
'Alba' speciosa white vigorous
'Crown of Gold' yellow variegated leaves
'Fireworks' fruticosa yellow 18", 2-3" flowers, red stems
subsp. glauca fruticosa yellow broad, gray, smooth leaves, syn. tetragona
'Highlights' fruticosa yellow 12", 2" flowers
'Hohes Licht':'Highlights'      
'Pink Petticoats' speciosa pink vigorous, scented
'Rosea' speciosa rose prostrate 6-12" tall
'Siskiyou' speciosa pink 2" wide, saucer-shaped flowers, 8" tall
'Sonnenwende':'Summer Solstice'      
'Summer Solstice' fruticosa yellow 18-24" tall, subsp. glauca, red fall foliage
'Woodside White' speciosa white, red eye 15" tall
'Yellow River' fruticosa canary yellow 18", 2-3" flowers, brick red stems
'Youngii' fruticosa bright yellow 18", 2-3" flowers
'Youngii-lapsley' fruticosa yellow 20" tall


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

Return to  Perry's Perennial Pages | HGPO course | PSS123 course