Common Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) in the Oenotheras Database

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Common Evening Primrose
Give a thumbs up Evening Primrose
Give a thumbs up Common evening-primrose
Give a thumbs up Night Willow-herb
Give a thumbs up Hoary Evening Primrose

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Biennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 2 to 7 feet
Plant Spread: 1 to 3 feet
Fruit: Showy
Fruiting Time: Fall
Flowers: Showy
Fragrant
Nocturnal
Other: open in the evening till mid-morning
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloom Size: Under 1"
1"-2"
Flower Time: Summer
Underground structures: Taproot
Uses: Medicinal Herb
Vegetable
Salad greens
Will Naturalize
Edible Parts: Stem
Leaves
Roots
Seeds or Nuts
Eating Methods: Raw
Cooked
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Butterflies
Other Beneficial Insects: Sphinx moths
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Provide light
Self fertile
Stratify seeds: 30 days
Suitable for wintersowing
Sow in situ
Start indoors
Other info: can only handle transplanting when seedlings are small
Pollinators: Moths and Butterflies
Bees
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil

close-up of flowers

The Top 50 All Things Plants WildflowersThe Top 50 All Things Plants Wildflowers
October 18, 2014

It's hard to figure out which plants are wildflowers and which ones aren't, so lists like these are hard to come up with. Nevertheless, with help from our members we made a list of areas of the database that qualify, and here's the top 50 most popular species from among them!

(Full article12 comments)
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Photo gallery:
Location: Fermilab, Batavia, IllinoisDate: 2012-08-15close-up of flowers
By ILPARW
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2015-11-26
By jmorth
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Location: VirginiaDate: 2012-08-08
By Shannon
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Location: Whitesboro, NY (Utica area)Date: 2018-09-02
By delirow
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Location: Whitesboro, NY (Utica area)Date: 2018-09-02
By delirow
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Location: VirginiaDate: 2012-07-31
By Shannon
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Location: Sirem CZ my gardenDate: 4000-09-22
By admin
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Location: Whitesboro, NY (Utica area)Date: 2018-09-02
By delirow
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Location: Whitesboro, NY (Utica area)Date: 2018-09-02
By delirow
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2011-09-20
By jmorth
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Image
By SongofJoy
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 9-11-12
By jmorth
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Photo courtesy of: Tom Potterfield
By admin
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Location: ILDate: 2009-09-27
By molanic
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Location: Rehoboth Beach, DelawareDate: 2012-09-14plants in dunes
By ILPARW
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Location: Whitesboro, NY (Utica area)Date: 2018-09-02
By delirow
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Location: Whitesboro, NY (Utica area)Date: 2018-09-02
By delirow
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Location: Whitesboro, NY (Utica area)Date: 2018-09-02
By delirow
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Location: Whitesboro, NY (Utica area)Date: 2018-09-02
By delirow
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Location: Sirem, my garden CZDate: 2014-09-30ripen seeds
By admin
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Location: Sirem, my garden CZDate: 2014-09-29
By admin
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Location: Sirem, my garden CZDate: 4000-09-30
By admin
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Location: Sirem, my garden CZDate: 4000-09-30
By admin
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Location: Sirem, my garden CZDate: 4000-09-30
By admin
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Location: CZ Sirem My gardenDate: 2015-06-25
By admin
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Location: CZ Sirem My gardenDate: 2015-06-27
By admin
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2015-11-26
By jmorth
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Location: MississippiDate: 2015-09-11Immature flower buds
By kchd
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Location: Fermilab, Batavia, IllinoisDate: 2012-08-15plant in bloom
By ILPARW
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Comments:
Posted by Sharon (Calvert City, KY - Zone 7a) on Nov 16, 2011 1:43 AM

This plant is a North American native. Its yellow blooms exude a perfume that attracts the nocturnal sphinx moth, which pollinates it. It has been used by Native Americans for various ailments for years, but more recently it has become the focus of medical research. The plant may have an anti-clotting factor that would make it useful in the prevention of heart attacks. It has also been found that the oil of the evening primrose might help those who suffer from atopic eczema, asthma and from migraine. None of these drugs has been approved in the US, however.

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Posted by jmorth (central Illinois) on Oct 30, 2011 4:29 PM

Flowers open at night, emitting a creosote aroma that night flying sphinx moths find very attractive. Yellow bloom has 8 yellow stamens.
Indians ate the seeds and first year roots. Plant was introduced to Europe in early 1600's. Europeans ate the root and young shoots in salads.
Flowers emit a creosote smell that attracts night flying Sphinx moths.

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Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on May 4, 2012 1:24 PM

Honey bees get pollen from this plant.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Feb 24, 2018 8:26 PM

It is a very common forb in meadows and prairie and seashore from southeast Canada into Florida to Arizona up into southern British Columbia. I've only seen it as a wild plant.

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Plant Events from our members
greene On November 19, 2014 Obtained plant
These are biennial but after the recent frigid weather a few of the first year rosettes have started to send up their 'second year' growth.
lizvero On June 12, 2019 Potted up
planted on the ground triangle 1,
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Wildflower ID by stilldew Aug 16, 2019 5:00 PM 3
Blooming in April.... by wcgypsy May 19, 2019 8:01 PM 70
Wildflower ID please Yellow flower by delirow Sep 2, 2018 4:20 PM 2
Flowering weed? by Pleinhauser Aug 20, 2018 2:30 PM 10
Use wild evening primrose as beetle magnet. by AudreyDee Aug 16, 2018 6:53 AM 0
ID Help please by mnmat Aug 17, 2018 5:29 PM 4
Identify plant by kenmacaulay Aug 15, 2018 10:10 AM 20
what is this plant - central ohio by thelmacat Aug 12, 2018 10:17 AM 3
what is this flower by thelmacat Aug 5, 2018 7:23 AM 5
Blooming in July by Strever Jul 31, 2018 6:32 PM 39

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