Grand Evening Primrose
Oenothera grandiflora - Literitier - ex Aiton
Onagraceae (Evening Primrose) Family

Grand indeed! Virtually identical to O. biennis with two exceptions -- its height and the size of its flower.

Plant is an upright hairy to nearly smooth perennial; reaching heights of 6-8 feet, but usually produces first flower at 3-5 feet.  From a tall main stem the branches are long below and reduced in length upward giving the plant a Christmas tree effect.  Preferred habitat is roadsides, meadows, edge of thin woods and at the margin of flood plains. Distribution is coastal in the Escambia region.

Leaves are lance-like to widest at the middle; short stalked. Basal leaves are 4-8 inches long; graduating to a narrow point; smaller upward; slightly toothed and hairy.

Flowers are at end of new growth stems; appearing in a terminal cluster; large, measuring 3-5 inches across; pale yellow; five petals (sometimes four) that are notched at the tip; bisexual, symmetrical in form. Calyx is tubular; lobed; funnel-shaped.  Flowers occur August to October.

Fruit is a capsule.

The plant was first discovered and described by naturalist William Bartram during his travels along the Mobile and Tensaw river delta, as well as the watershed and swamps of the Conecuh River flood basin. Flowers open in the evening and close by noon the following day. The blossoms open with a rapid expanding motion, which may be seen with the naked eye.

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