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Oenothera fruticosa

Common Name(s):
Sundrops
Categories:
Herbs, Native Plants, Perennials, Wildflowers
Comment:

Oenothera fruticosa, commonly called sundrops or southern sundrops, is an erect, day-flowering member of the evening primrose family. It is native to eastern North America. 

Sundrops are a native perennial in the Onagraceae family. They grow wild in all parts of North Carolina except the high mountains, where although it is striking when seen along roadsides and in meadows, it never achieves the beauty possible under cultivation. It blooms during the day, hence the common name "Sundrops". Flowers are followed by distinctive club-shaped seed capsules. Red stems complement the bright yellow flowers produced over a long season. If plant foliage depreciates in summer after flowering, stems may be cut back to the basal rosette.

Garden uses include borders, wild gardens, rock gardens, native plant areas or cottage gardens.

Regions:

Seasons of Interest:

   Leaf:              Bloom:  Spring, Summer, Late Summer                 Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Late Summer, Fall

Wildlife Value:  This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer. Hummingbirds nectar at the flowers and songbirds eat the seeds. Members of the genus Oenothera support the following specialized beesMelissodes (Apomelissodes) fimbriatus and Lasioglossum (Sphecodogastra) oenotherae.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No serious insect or disease problems. 

Season:
Summer
Height:
6-12 in.
Flower Color:
Yellow
Hardiness:
USDA Hardiness Zone 4-8
Foliage:
Sundrops have rosette leaves (to 1-4” long) which are oblanceolate (having a broad rounded apex and a tapering base). The leaves are alternate with a smooth margin and slight hairiness. The stem is red in color.
Flower:
Sundrops typically grows 15-30” tall and produces terminal clusters of bright yellow four-petaled flowers in late spring on stems clad with lanceolate green leaves (1-3” long). The flowers are followed by distinctive club-shaped seed capsules. The flowers bloom during the day, hence the appropriate common name of sundrops. Each flower is short-lived, but flowers bloom in succession over a fairly long period of two months.
Zones:
4-8
Habit:
Erect, slowly spreading rosettes
Site:
Sundrops are easily grown in average to moderately fertile, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. It prefers good summer heat and dryish soils. It will tolerate poor soils and light shade. If plant foliage depreciates in summer after flowering, stems may be cut back to the basal rosette. It has slowly spreading rosettes.
Propagation:
Division in summer, seed
Exposure:
Full sun
Fruit:
Club-shaped capsule
Soil:
Well-drained to dry soils
Regions:
Mountains, Piedmont, Coastal Plain
Origin:
Eastern North America, North Carolina
Tags:
sun, summer, specialized bees, bees, yellow, nectar, pollinator, perennial, hummingbirds, wildlife, songbirds, colorful leaf, showy

NCCES plant id: 751

Oenothera fruticosa Oenothera fruticosa plant
M. Fletcher, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Oenothera fruticosa Oenothera fruticosa bloom
Shihmei Barger, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Oenothera fruticosa Oenothera fruticosa hedge
Leonora (Ellie) Enking, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Oenothera fruticosa Oenothera fruticosa bloom cluster
Debbie Roos