What’s That Weed?–Evening Primrose

This one always takes me by surprise because there is a cultivated garden plant that doesn’t look much like this.  This is Oenothera biennis, and as you already guessed from the name, it is another bienniel.  As you can see from the photo, it is a primarily evening blooming plant.  I was there about 11:30 am so I was able to catch a few open flowers, which you’ll see later.

The cultivated garden plant is smaller but it is aggressive and you will occasionally find it along the roadside, having “escaped from cultivation,” as they say.

Birds of all sort but especially goldfinch love the seeds and hawk moths are pollinators of this plant.  When I visited, the few plants with open flowers were loaded with bumble bees.

You can see the bumblebee and the smaller bee in this photo.

I’ve included this plant not so much because it has so many interesting stories but because it is another tall yellow plant that you’re likely to see along the roadside.  For years I looked at it and went, Hmm?  Not goldenrod, not verbascum–what the heck is it?  So I figured I probably wasn’t the only one wondering!

3 thoughts on “What’s That Weed?–Evening Primrose

  1. Marilyn Harmon August 21, 2018 / 10:35 am

    Finally! I have been searching for the identity of this flower all summer. The Japanese Beetles love it and have left my rose bush alone. Hurray for that. Now the decision is do I keep it or not?
    It is particularly beautiful, but it is helpful. Thanks for the info.

    • Marilyn Harmon August 21, 2018 / 10:37 am

      Correction: It is NOT particularly beautiful, but it is helpful. Sorry.

    • gardendaze August 21, 2018 / 11:11 am

      Oh, glad I could help–and how wonderful that the beetles like this and not your roses.

      One thing about evening primrose–it does tend to spread a bit, so you’ll want to take that into consideration. I hope that helps.

      Karla

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