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Evening primrose plant

Evening primrose plant

Evening primrose plant

The evening primrose, Oenothera nero ssp. oenotherae, is a plant species in the genus Oenothera and is traditionally used as an anti-inflammatory agent and a vulnerary. [. . . ] The oil was originally introduced in cosmetics and has since been commercially produced in a variety of formulas, including oil of evening primrose, oenotherapeutic oil, and oenotherapeutic grade oil.Oenothera, of the family Onagraceae, noted for their showy flowers. The name is especially applied to O. biennis (see photograph), which occurs widely throughout North America and has been introduced into Europe. The true primrose belongs to the family Primulaceae.

Oenothera

Fragrant and showy, Oenothera biennis (Common Evening Primrose) is an erect biennial featuring large, bowl-shaped, lemon-scented, yellow flowers, up to 2 in. across (5 cm), at the top of a stiff, purple-tinged flower stem. Blooming profusely from early summer to early fall, the flowers open in the evening and remain open through late morning. They rise on leafy, branched stems from a basal rosette of oblong, long medium green leaves. This Evening Primrose completes its life cycle in 2 years, its basal leaves becoming established the first year, while flowering occurs the second year. The seeds stay, however, and germinate if the soil is disturbed. The whole plant is edible: the leaves can be cooked as green vegetables and the flowers make beautiful salad garnish!

During the first year of growth, the roots can be cooked and eaten. This is by far the most common evening primrose (Oenothera) in Illinois. Although it favors disturbed weedy areas, this species is sometimes found in prairies and other natural areas. Common Evening Primrose can be distinguished from other Oenothera spp. on the basis of its tallness (often exceeding 3' in length), the shape of its seed capsules (rounded edges, rather than sharply angular), the shape of its leaves, and the size of its flowers. There is significant variation in the hairiness of individual plants. For more information about these distinctions, see Mohlenbrock (2002). (Source: www.illinoiswildflowers.info)

 

 

 

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