Common Evening Primrose
Oenothera biennis - Linnaeus
Onagraceae (Evening Primrose) Family


Plant is an upright, hairy or smooth biennial; leafy stalks; blooms lemon-scented; large; yellow. Stems are often tinged with purple. Preferred habitat is fields and roadsides. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

Leaves are two to three inches long; sometimes nearly oval, slightly toothed and lance-like.

Flowers are one-two inches broad; petals four and sepals four; reflexed; arising from the top of a long floral tube; stamens eight; prominent cross-shaped stigma. Flowers occur in the summer and autumn.

Fruit is an oblong capsule often persisting after seeds have fallen

The flowers of this night-flowering biennial open in the evening and close by noon the following day.

The plant takes two years to complete its life cycle, with basal leaves becoming established the first year and flowering occurring the second. The roots are edible, and the seeds are important to songbirds. Of the numerous species that occur in this area, all but two have yellow flowers.

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