Common Evening-primrose (Biennis) is generally described as
a biennial forb/herb.
native to the U.S. (United States)
has its most active growth period in the
spring and summer and fall .
Common Evening-primrose (Biennis) has
green foliage and
yellow flowers, with
an abuncance of
conspicuous brown fruits or seeds.
The greatest bloom is usually observed in the
with fruit and seed production starting in the
summer and continuing until
not retained year to year.
Common Evening-primrose (Biennis) has a
short life span relative to most other plant species and a
rapid growth rate.
At maturity, the typical
Common Evening-primrose (Biennis) will reach up to
5 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of
Common Evening-primrose (Biennis) is usually not commercially available except under contract. It can be propagated by
It has a
moderate ability to spread through seed production and the seedlings have
Note that cold stratification is
not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below
medium tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.
Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.
Ethnobotanic: The Cherokee, Iroquois, Ojibwas, and Potawatomi were among several Native American tribes that used common evening-primrose for both food and for medicinal purposes. The roots were boiled and eaten like potatoes. The young leaves were cooked and served as greens. The shoots were eaten raw. A tea was made from the plant and used as a dietary aid or stimulant to treat laziness and вЂњoverfatness.вЂќ A hot poultice made from the pounded roots was applied externally to treat piles and boils. A poultice made from the entire plant was used to treat bruises. The roots were chewed and rubbed onto the muscles to improve strength. The plant was used to treat pain associated with menstruation as well as bowel pain. Handfuls of people still use the plant today, medicinally and for food. Other: Common evening-primrose is commercially cultivated in over 15 countries for its oil which contains the essential fatty acids, linoleic acid and gamma linolenic acid (Kemper 1999). When the seedpods ripen, the tall stalks can be cut and used as interesting additions to dried arrangements.
Wildlife: Hummingbirds visit the flowers to obtain nectar and insects to eat. The seed capsules provide food for many other birds during the winter months. It is thought that the plants are pollinated by night-visiting hawk moths, which feed on their nectar. Japanese Beetles prefer the leaves of common evening-primrose to those of other garden plants.
General: Evening Primrose Family (Onagraceae). Oenothera biennis is a biennial, herbaceous forb. The family is so-named because the flowers are partially to fully closed during the day and open in the evening. The bright yellow to gold corolla is 2-5 cm wide, with four petals. The fragrant flowers usually last only one to two days. The erect stem, which sometimes branches near the top, can be covered with hairs. The plant grows from 3-25 dm tall. Basal leaves, which form a rosette, are from 10-30 cm long. The stem has alternate, lanceolate-shaped leaves, 2.5-15 cm long, that are shallowly toothed and wavey at the edges. The leaves are usually hairy. The plant flowers can from June through October.
Required Growing Conditions
For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.
Adaptation Common evening-primrose grows in dry open fields, along roadsides, railroad embankments, waste areas and in open woods.
Weediness This plant may become weedy or invasive in some regions or habitats and may displace desirable vegetation if not properly managed.
General Upkeep and Control
OPAC"To keep the plants in bounds, cut off outermost joints. Prune in late spring or summer. Use tongs or rolled newspapers to grasp the stems while cutting with pruning shears. "
Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database, plants.usda.gov.
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA