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does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

Posted by quirkpod 7 Lewisville NC (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 20, 08 at 11:42

I am having trouble figuring out which variety I am looking for. It blooms only at night and is very fragrant. Does anyone know? It's about 4 feet tall and is biennial, has large yellow flowers that are closed during the day. One can actually watch each flower open about 8PM and the fragrance is a mix of vanilla and black pepper. The other forums have nothing about this wonderful plant. I am hoping someone in NC can mail me some seed or a plant for trade.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

I am not sure what the variety that I have is called, but it is as you described - very large, sweetly scented lemon yellow flowers that open at dusk. In full sun a plant can have as many as 2 dozen flowers on it at a time - the flowers last one night, closing mid-morning. These plants are, I believe, biennials, so seeds sown now may not bloom until next year. They usually self-sow at the family "home place" (in Cleveland Co.), so there may be some plants there that can be potted up for you. Let me know if you would like me to send you some seed - I have plenty from last summer.


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

Hello,

I have been growing a variety called "Tina James Evening Primrose". I am not sure if it is fragrant, but it is hardy in this area and reseeds easily. I can try and get some small plants as they come up or save some seed for you from any plants that bloom this year. They are great as a mass when blooming, but look real weedy towards the end.

Please let me know the details of the plant swap, I have never been to one and not sure how they work, so I would like to go. Right now, all I have are some african violets that are extras.

Mark in Winston


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

I recieved an evening primrose from the last spring swap. It did wonderfully and I hope it reseeds this year.
Some one here has it. I have no idea the name, but it is yellow and fragrant and the gold finches love it.


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

Pink Primrose (Oenothera speciosa) is a perennial low growing primrose with pink flowers. It is not hardy in northern states. It grows from fleshy roots which sprout new plants if broken. Grow well in sun and even in dry areas.

Yellow Primrose, (Oenothera biennis) is much taller than Pink Primrose. It is a biennial plant with yellow flowers that have and x-shaped stigma in the center. Seeds germinate the first year and in the 2nd year produce a tall stalk that produces new flowers each day. The flowers open in the evening.


DO NOT grow the pink variety. It is the most invasive thing I have in my garden. You pull one plant and every broken root makes a new plant. Nothing kills it and it gets woven into every other flower. I had ONE come up in my new bed (not planted by me) and before I could pull it it must have dropped seed. I have been fighting it steadily for 4 years.


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

Hey Robin, did you ever find your primrose? I have a desert primrose that I got from someone last year. I don't know much about it yet, but will let you know once it blooms this year.


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

ronda, that is exactly what my Kill or No Kill thread is about. I have a whole bed that this pink onoethera could be happy in so instead of brush killer I may just dig it up and heave it on the bed where nothing but lambs ears grow (because of deer and black walnut tree.


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

Is Oenothera REALLY that bad??? I bought one this week at Lowe's. It's soooo pretty with light pink flowers. I still have it in the pot ( I'm scared to plant it), but would love to put it in a bed. I wouldn't care if it spread some as I would like to fill in a bare area. BUT it sounds like it really takes over and is hard to get rid of. What do you think?


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

It really takes over (think kudzu, but not climbing). In hard packed dry clay, even. keep it in a deep deep pot with a saucer under it and enjoy it that way. They are quite pretty- and potbound you can enjoy them. I wouldn't even dare sink it inn the ground.


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

ronda...I feel for your pain with this PITA plant. I had to dig up all the soil where this 'stuff' grew (what was I thinking!) and replace it with clean soil.
Wonderful if it's in a distant bed surrounded by concrete but a terrible thug in a mixed plant border.

BEN...TAKE IT BACK TO LOWES!!!!!!!!!!
Better you buy ruellia than oenothera. At least you can dig up the ruellia babies and move them elsewhere.


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

10 years ago I bought the showy pink primrose seed. They are so pretty but kudzu is a reasonable comparison! It comes up yards away from the nearest infestation and takes off from there.

Thompson & Morgan has seeds for the taller evening primrose that changes colors with the age of the bloom - some yellow to apricot, etc. Don't know if they're fragrant.

The missouri or ozark evening primrose that is a low sprawler comes easily from seed and it thrives in tough conditions but isn't weedy. It's really pretty with huge lemon yellow four-petaled blooms.


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

thanks to you all who responded. In the pot it goes. I saw some today in my neighbor's (down the street) yard. I think I'd better warn them too.


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

In a pot in your bathtub, in a pot in the middle of the street. They seed and if I remember correctly, the seedheads explode to fling the seed away from the mother plant.
If it weren't for the pretty flower, this stuff would be more noxious than wild bermuda grass.


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

Finally, in answ to this thread, I got what I was looking for: O. glaziovana which blooms around 8pm. THanks all.


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

OMG--- Dottie ---Maybe I should really take it back to Lowes. I told the neighbor today who has it in his flower bed in the back (probably 6x6 bed)-- and he just put in sod all around the bed. Didn't seem to be too concerned. Geez, guess they'll have to deal with it somehow.


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

Ben, besides every broken root starting a new plant this stuff, left for a year or so, develops an almost inpenetrable mat of roots.
It has its uses and is wonderful for those hillsides where you can't get grass to grow and the soil erodes but keep it out of your regular flower beds.


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

WELL!! This must be the year for oenothera!! Guess what-- I got some misc. plants from a friend, some identified and some not. Some of the smaller plants, I just stuck in a pot to see what would happen. One of which looked a lot like a weed. I kept looking at it, tempted to pull it out-- it had pod like things on it that looked like they might contain seeds of some sort. I just waited, hoping to see a bloom of some kind.

This morning, I looked and guess what-- it's a pink flower, exactly like the one in the pot I bought from Lowes. OENOTHERA!!!!!!!!!!!


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

Ben, put the pot in the bathtub. When the seedpods pop you'll understand why this plant is so invasive.


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

Layman's in upstate SC is responsible for all Lowe's in NC/SC having this invasive primrose this year. As the Live Nursery specialist at my Lowe's store, I requested that they not send me this plant. They sent two racks (800+ plants) over the course of the season so far. I hate it. You cannot get rid of it. One house on South Street here has it in their front yard. That's all they have. Everything else has been smothered.


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

Hello token28001. Nice of you to stop in and affirm many of our opinions on this plant.
I should think that the flying seeds from 2 racks of oenothera may be hitchhiking in pots of other flowers nearby and I , for one , shall not take the chance of restarting that war in my gardens. I am finally oenothera-free (I hope).


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RE: `does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

Since this thread is about Evening Primrose and not Oenothera sp.(the pink thug) I am off to google more info on the taller,evening-flowering types.


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

Oenothera biennis is also called evening primrose by some of the locals here. It's the taller, yellow flowering variety. It's not a thug really and the seedlings are easy to pull. I tried growing some by direct sowing the seed this spring and not a single one germinated.


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

I have an area under several trees which I would like to eliminate mowing and make it into ground cover. I would love to find a FAST and "invasive" ground cover that would take over this area. Maybe I should find some of this pink primrose? How does it do in shade? This area is in the far part of the yard, away from the flowers. It used to be all lawn; I am trying to convert it to shrubs/woodland/leaf mulch/ground cover.


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

I'd keep looking,woodswalker. The thug primrose wants a certain degree of sun/very bright light but the mat forming roots might be a bad thing for your tree root zone.
Try pachysandra.


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

Is this Yellow Evening Primrose, or something else?

Here is a link that might be useful: Yellow Evening Primrose?


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

blakrab, It may be a form of evening primrose. What I recall and confirm by researching images on google is that the evening primrose I raised and enjoyed in New England did not have toothy leaves. And, the blossoms were clustered at the top and bloomed a few each day.
I see from your photo that your blossoms have the distinctive parts we associate with the primrose flowers.
You might have a variety seen more often in Texas.

Have you posted your question and flower photo on the Texas forum?


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

I have a packet of "Common Evening Primrose" I was going to plant in a bare area that has high red clay content and was looking for how to plant it in the seed form but now after reading these I might bury it in a time capsule somewhere under ground. But my packet says "Oenothera lamarckiana" and I've not seen that scientific name in any of these threads. Mine came from Victory Seeds which is pretty reliable source for me. Would it be ok for a remote area on a farm where nothing but scrub pines grow to cover up red clay bank? Heck, I was going to plant some in a flower garden at the house.


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

Don, that sounds like a more sensible plan you have to give it a place it can spread.
I always think it's so nice to come upon some unexpected beauty blooming in an unexpected place.


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

Blakrab, do you think your plant might be Shortfruit evening-primrose (Oenothera brachycarpa)? Here is a link to a few photos in the Native Plant Database at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center...

Here is a link that might be useful: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center link


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RE: does anyone grow Evening Primrose?

I think a lot of people are fascinated by the fact that it opens up at sunset and the novelty of that and probably forget or don't realize the invasiveness. I still can't find where the Lamarckiana type is invasive though. Found a few sites that mentions the pink but not one I have.


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