Evening Primrose Identification – Oenothera biennis

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This post is part of our “100 Plants and Mushrooms” series. Here, you’ll see the plant’s main parts – its leaves, flowers, fruits, and more – all with key identification features.

The Evening Primrose, known scientifically as Oenothera biennis, is a member of the Onagraceae family. The name ‘Evening Primrose’ itself hints at one of its unique features: its blooming habits.

Evening Primrose: Key Parts in Photos

How to identify Evening Primrose

The sturdy stem of the Evening Primrose stands up to 6 feet tall. It can either be reddish or light green and may be covered with white hairs. Depending on the plant, it can either grow straight up or branch out.

The Evening Primrose features leaves that can span up to 8 inches long. These lance-elliptic leaves might be smooth or exhibit fine white hairs, and their edges could be smooth or slightly toothed. They often display an olive to light green hue.

The Evening Primrose boasts yellow flowers that grow on a spike (an unbranched, elongated cluster) at the stem’s end. Each flower is up to 2 inches across with four distinct yellow heart-shaped petals. At its center, there are 8 yellow stamens (pollen-producing parts) that surround a style leading to a cross-shaped stigma. The Evening Primrose has 4 sepals (greenish structures that protect the flower before it blooms), these sepals bend backward as the flower matures. After flowering, the Evening Primrose produces fruits. The fruit is a capsule that releases its seeds when mature.

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