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Oenothera biennis

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - 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.  

Bleeding Hearts for Green Roofs on Valentine‘s Day?

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Monday, February 11, 2013

by Jorg Breuning

As beautiful as the Greek name sounds, Dicentra eximia is relatively undiscovered by the Sedum-blinded Green Roof plants experts and by the yearning LEED point collectors. The beautiful flower is native Genus to Northeast United States and Asia that comes in many “faces” (Species and several cultivars).

Dicentra eximaThis plant won’t survive in full sun but will thrive on moisture retaining partially or fully shaded roofs with in a FLL-certified green roof growing media with depths around 3-5 inches.

Leaves are finely divided and gray-green, growing from the base of the plant.

Flowers are pink and bloom in tight clusters at the top of leafless, fleshy stems above the leaves from mid-spring to autumn. The four petals are connected at the base. The two outer petals are pouched at the base and bent back at the tips. The inner petals are perpendicular to the outer petals and connected at the tip. The pistil is enclosed within the inner petals, and the two stamens are on either side. There are two tiny, triangular, pink sepals above the petals.

Seeds are borne in a plump, pointed pod. They ripen to black while the pod is still green. Each has a white elaiosome (Greek élaion "oil" and sóma "body") that is prized by ants.


If the ants would have been a litter quicker in the last 150,000 years these plants would have spread over the entire North America already.  However, with green roofs there is a chance to help nature along in this process.


USDA Dicentra Eximia

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