Thursday, June 10, 2010
Common Evening Primrose - Oenothera biennis
Common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) is a biennial common to a wide variety of upland sites throughout Florida. Although considered a "weed" by many, it produces large showy yellow flowers that more than make up for its common nature.
As its Latin name suggests, this species takes two years to reach flowering age and then dies once its over. As its common names implies, these flowers are open mostly in the evening hours and are moth pollinated. As the sun rises, the flowers tend to wilt and fold. They are open generally for only one evenng.
Common evening primrose may reach 4-6 feet in height, but often is much shorter. The leaves are lanceolate with a noticeable deep central vein running the length of the leaf. This is an adaptable wildflower which can show up in nearly any upland habitat - especially those that are periodically disturbed.
I am not aware of anyone ever propagating this species for sale. Because it is a biennial whose flowers are open mostly during the evening, it is not the best choice for a typical wildflower garden, except for those that might get used during the evening.