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Showy Evening-primrose

© Nancy Goulden


Common Name: Showy Evening-primrose

Scientific Name: Oenothera speciosa

Family: Evening-primrose

Longevity: Perennial

Height: 1 - 2 feet

Bloom Period:
May, June, and July


Description: Stems are usually numerous and sprawling. Alternate leaves are oblong with slightly toothed to deeply lobed margins. Flower buds are nodding. Flowers have four, large, round white petals that fade to pink.

Comments: Speciosa means “glorious.” Masses of the flowers along roadsides literally glow in the evening light. Flowers open in the evening and are pollinated by night-flying moths. The flowers fade by midmorning. Plants are easy to grow in the garden and can be purchased from plant nurseries. Larvae of the white-lined sphinx moth eat the flower buds and leaves. The adults sip the nectar. Showy Evening-primrose is found primarily in the eastern half of the state along roadsides and on open prairies.