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Oenothera fruticosa

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
oh-no-THER-ah froo-tih-KOH-sah
Description

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.

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. It has slowly spreading rosettes that, in order to propagate, can be divided in the summer or sown from seed.

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

Fire Risk: This plant has a medium flammability rating. 

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

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#sun#yellow#songbirds#heat tolerant#summer#perennial#herbs#wildlife plant#wildflowers#showy#nectar plant#colorful#cottage garden#specialized bees#food source#fire#medium flammability#NC native#dry soil tolerant#deer resistant#native garden#rock garden#pollinator plant#native wildflower#fall food source#poor soils tolerant#hummingbird
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#sun#yellow#songbirds#heat tolerant#summer#perennial#herbs#wildlife plant#wildflowers#showy#nectar plant#colorful#cottage garden#specialized bees#food source#fire#medium flammability#NC native#dry soil tolerant#deer resistant#native garden#rock garden#pollinator plant#native wildflower#fall food source#poor soils tolerant#hummingbird
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Oenothera
    Species:
    fruticosa
    Family:
    Onagraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Biennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern North America
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Hummingbirds nectar at the flowers and songbirds eat the seeds. Members of the genus Oenothera support the following specialized bees: Melissodes (Apomelissodes) fimbriatus and Lasioglossum (Sphecodogastra) oenotherae.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Spreading
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    The flowers are followed by distinctive club-shaped seed capsules, setting in late summer to fall.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    Sundrops typically grows 15-30” tall and produces terminal clusters of bright yellow four-petaled flowers from late spring throughout the summer. 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.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Oblanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    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.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    The stem is red in color.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Dry Soil
    Heat
    Poor Soil