Plant Base Online (beta)

botanical name:
Oenothera biennis
Oenothera biennis © Deeproot Plant Base
common name:  Evening primrose
synonyms:  Oenothera odorata
family:  Onagraceae
characteristics: annual/biennial
height: 1.50m
width: 0.60m
growth rate: medium
growth habit: erect
leaf colour: green
flower colour: yellow
main season: Summer
edible symbol edible
medicinal symbol medicinal
aspect: full sun
conditions: dry soil, moist soil, sandy soil, coastal
preferred soil pH: any
minimum temp: -10°C
USDA zone: 8 to 9
description:
Biennial forming large rosettes of shallowly toothed, slightly leaves, mid-green often with red veins. Erect, hairy, leafy stems carry clusters of large, fragrant yellow flowers which open in the evening. Later forms slender, cylindrical, downy seed capsules. Often seen in the wild as large colonies.

cultivation:
Thrives in poor, very well drained soils, in full sun. Will grow in sandy, coastal positions and may sometimes be found growing at the back of dunes..

propagation:
From seed. Self-seeds freely.

usage:
Attractive cottage garden plant.
The seeds are used commercially for their oil, which is valuable for medical, heath suppliments and cosmetic use.
The roots and young leaves are also edible, raw or cooked.

other notes:
Originally from North America but now widely naturalized in many parts of Europe and elsewhere. Quite common in Britain, by roadsides and on wasteground.
The flowers are at their best and most fragrant at night and are pollinated by night-flying moths.

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