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Mexican Evening Primrose Oenothera speciosa

Other plants called Mexican Evening Primrose:

Previously known as:

  • Hartmannia speciosa
  • Oenothera delessertiana
  • Oenothera speciosa var. childsii
Phonetic Spelling
oh-no-THER-ah speh-see-OH-sah
Description

Showy Evening Primrose is native to SW USA but has naturalized to many other parts of the country. It spreads by stoloniferous rootstocks and seeds forming a groundcover. The large flowers are cup-shaped and showy, usually opening in the evening or cloudy days although in some areas of the county they open during the day. It is drought tolerant and grows in any soil types except poor drainage ones. It will go dormant if it receives no moisture in summer. Flowers best in sun but will grow in shade as a groundcover but not flower.

It is best used in naturalized areas as it can take over a perennial garden. Planting it in poor, rocky, infertile soil will encourage it to grow in a more well-behaved clump. 

 

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Drought Tolerant Rock Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#white#sun#drought tolerant#edible plant#perennial#wildlife plant#pink flowers#weedy#nectar plant#specialized bees#well-drained soil#summer flowers#groundcover#rock gardens#pollinator plant#poor soils tolerant#butterfly friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#white#sun#drought tolerant#edible plant#perennial#wildlife plant#pink flowers#weedy#nectar plant#specialized bees#well-drained soil#summer flowers#groundcover#rock gardens#pollinator plant#poor soils tolerant#butterfly friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Oenothera
    Species:
    speciosa
    Family:
    Onagraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Mexico
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , AZ , CA , CT , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MO , MS , NC , NE , NM , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , UT , VA , WV
    Wildlife Value:
    Butterflies and bees are attracted to the nectar in the flowers. Members of the genus Oenothera support the following specialized bees: Melissodes (Apomelissodes) fimbriatus and Lasioglossum (Sphecodogastra) oenotherae. Seeds attract birds and small mammals.
    Edibility:
    Cook as greens or in salads, best flavor when collected before flowering
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Ground Cover
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Creeping
    Erect
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    High
  • 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:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    1/2 inch oval 4-angled capsules that contain numerous seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    1-2 inch 4 petaled pink to white cup-shaped flowers with pink to red veins and yellow throats are borne solitary in the leaf axils on hair stems. They can either be day or evening blooming depending on what part of the country. Generally, evening blooming in NC.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Oblanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Lobed
    Undulate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    2-4 inch long and .75-1.5 inches wide green pubescent leaves are narrow lanceolate to oblanceolate on short stems or sessile. Margins can be wavy, toothed or lobed.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    The light green stems are terete, covered with appressed hairs and erect to sprawling
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Poor Soil
    Problems:
    Weedy