OENOTHERA Evening Primrose

The buds of these attractive flowers usually open in the evening – hence the common name. The blooms are large, saucer-shaped and silky – somewhat similar to Poppies, perhaps, but nothing like Primroses. They love sun and sand – choose something else if your soil is heavy and poorly drained. For best results mulch around the stems in spring, water during dry spells in summer and cut the stems down to ground level in late autumn. The blooms are excellent for indoor arrangements.

VARIETIES: The largest blooms, 3-4 in. across, are borne by the low-growing O. missouriensis. The basic details are height 6-9 in., spacing 1.5 ft.

Flowering period: July-September. The yellow, bowl-shaped flowers are borne above the sprawling stems. O. tetragona is a taller plant -height ½ ft. Spacing 1 ft.

Flowering period: June-August. The flower stems arise from a basal rosette of leaves – the most colourful variety is ‘Fireworks’ (purplish leaves, red buds and yellow flowers). Another reliable and popular Evening Primrose is O. fruticosa ‘Yellow River’ (1.5 ft. yellow flowers).

SITE AND SOIL: Any light or loamy well-drained garden soil – thrives best in full sun.

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