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Common Evening Primrose

Oenothera biennis

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.

Plant Data

Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Order:
Myrtales
Family:
Onagraceae (Willowherb)
Type:
Flower
Maximum Size:
150 centimetres tall
Habitats:
Farmland, meadows, riverbanks, roadsides, sand dunes, seaside, wasteland.

Flower:
֍
Yellow, 4 petals
 
The flowers appear in leafy spikes. They are bright yellow and bowl-shaped with an X-shaped stigma. Flowers measure about 1 inch (2.5cm) across. The tip of the flower spike is green, unlike the Large-flowered Evening Primrose (Oenothera glazioviana) whose spikes are red at the very top. Pollinated by bees, butterflies and moths.
Fruit:
The fruit is a capsule, 2 to 4cm long and up to 6mm wide. The seeds ripen from August to October.
Leaves:
Oval to lance-shaped leaves, up to 8 inches (20cm) long and 1 inch (2.5cm) wide. Leaf margins are wavy but not toothed (or sometimes slightly dentate). The leaves are similar to those of a willow tree. The erect stems are hairy but not red at their bases like the similar looking Large-flowered Evening Primrose. The stems are green but can sometimes be tinged red. Biennial.
Aroma:
Flowers are slightly lemon-scented.
Other Names:
Coffee Plant, Cure-all, Evening Primrose, Evening Star, Fever Plant, Field Primrose, Four O'clock, German Rampion, Hog Weed, King's Cure-all, Large Rampion, Night Willowherb, Scabbish, Scurvish, Sun Drop, Weedy Evening Primrose, Wild Four O'clock.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  
Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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