Wingleaf Primrose-willow (Decurrens)

The Wingleaf Primrose-willow (Decurrens) is generally described as a perennial forb/herb. This is native to the U.S. (United States) has its most active growth period in the summer . The greatest bloom is usually observed in the mid summer, with fruit and seed production starting in the summer and continuing until fall. Leaves are not retained year to year. The Wingleaf Primrose-willow (Decurrens) has a short life span relative to most other plant species and a rapid growth rate. At maturity, the typical Wingleaf Primrose-willow (Decurrens) will reach up to 4.5 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of 0 inches.

The Wingleaf Primrose-willow (Decurrens) is not commonly available from nurseries, garden stores and other plant dealers and distributors. It can be propagated by sprigs. It has a slow ability to spread through seed production and the seedlings have low vigor. Note that cold stratification is not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below 7°F. has none tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.

Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.

The common name primrose comes from the flower’s resemblance to evening primroses (Oenothera species), since most have 4 petals. The more woody species of Ludwigia are very good browse for deer, goats, sheep and cattle. In fact, this species is rarely found in overgrazed pastures.

General Characteristics

General: Evening Primrose Family (Onagraceae). Ludwigia decurrens, a native, is the tallest water primrose, reaching a height of 3-6 feet. This perennial is somewhat “woody”, which is unusual for species of water primroses. It is considered an annual to perennial. It also stands upright in contrast to most Ludwigia species, which trail along the ground or water. The leaves are usually linear (hence the name willow primrose), alternate, and entire. The flowers are yellow with 4-5 petals (usually 4). Also, common to the Ludwigia genus is the “seed box” located immediately below the flower. In fact, some refer to the entire genus as “seedboxs.” Willow primrose has a very distinctive stem that is 4-winged and can be distinguished from all other water primroses by this unique characteristic.

There are approximately 11 species of Ludwigia in Texas. All species are found in wet sites and all but one species have yellow flowers. Six species have erect growth habits. Vegetatively, Ludwigia alternifolia is the most similar, but it does not have the distinctive winged stems and the seedbox is not nearly as long. Ludwigia decurrens has one of the longer “seedboxs” of all Ludwigia, attaining lengths of up to ¾ inch.

Required Growing Conditions

Found from Texas and Florida to Pennsylvania and Michigan. For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.

General Upkeep and Control

LUNO"Lupines are most valuable because of the masses of nitrogen fixing bacteria, which live in nodules on their roots and convert the free nitrogen of the atmosphere into compounds that are essential to plant and animal growth (Moldenke 1949). "

Plant Basics
Growth Rate Rapid
General Type Forb/herb
Growth Period Summer
Growth Duration Annual, Perennial
Lifespan Short
Plant Nativity Native to U.S.
Commercial Availability No Known Source
Physical Characteristics
Bloom Period Mid Summer
Displays Fall Colors No
Shape/Growth Form Single Crown
Drought Tolerance None
Shade Tolerance Tolerant
Height When Mature 4.5
Vegetative Spread Rapid
Flower Color White
Flower Conspicuousness No
Fruit/Seed Abundance Medium
Fruit/Seed Seasonality Summer Fall
Seed Spread Rate Slow
Gardening Characteristics
Propagations (Ways to Grow) Sprigs
Moisture Requirements High
Cold Stratification Required No
Minimum Temperature 7
Soil Depth for Roots 10
Toxic to Nearby Plants No
Toxic to Livestock No
After-Harvest Regrowth Rate Slow
After-Harvest Resprout Ability No
Responds to Coppicing No
Growth Requirements
pH Range 4–6 pH
Precipitation Range 28–28 inches/yr
Planting Density 4800–10000 indiv./acre
Soil Textures Fine, Medium
Soil Depth for Roots 10
Minimum Frost-Free Days 140 day(s)
Salinity Tolerance None
CaCO3 Tolerance Low
Sustainability & Use
Leaf Retention No
Fire Resistant No
Causes Livestock Bloating None

Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database,
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA