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Oenothera biennis

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Common Evening Primrose has yellow, lemon-scented flowers that bloom in late spring to summer, but only show their bright petals when the sun is hiding. They open late at night into the early morning, but have been known to stay open for days if the sky is cloudy.  Although they shy away from the sun at its brightest, don't get the wrong idea, this plant lives best in full sunlight and well drained soils.

Native to North America, this biennial can grow rather tall and take on a bushy or weedy appearance. The leaves are long and thin, like those of a willow tree. One large taproot keeps this plant in place, which is also edible; if boiled it may be eaten similar to potatoes. The wind helps to establish new populations by carrying around the tiny brown seeds to a new places. Hummingbirds, Hawk moths and Japanese beetles all favor the evening primrose and can often be found nearby.  

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