Common eveningprimrose

August 24, 2015

Oenothera biennis L. 

Life cycle

Usually an erect biennial or winter annual. Occasionally a summer annual.

Common eveningprimrose plant
Common eveningprimrose plant. 


Alternate, narrow oval-shaped, smooth to slightly wavy leaf margins, with distinctive pink to white midveins. Leaves initially develop from a basal rosette.

common eveningprimrose rosette
Common eveningprimrose rosette.


Erect, semi-woody, approaching 5 feet in height. Stem usually branches only at the top and may be visible through the winter.

Flowers and fruit

Flowers are yellow, attached to fused sepals forming a tube and found in terminal spikes. Seed capsules are woody, cylinder-shaped and thickest near the bottom. 

common eveningprimrose flower
Common eveningprimrose flowering stem. 



Similar weeds

Cutleaf eveningprimrose (O. laciniata Hill) Differs by having a prostrate to moderately erect, branching stem; wavy and coarsely toothed leaves; yellow to reddish flowers in the upper and middle leaf axils; and linear, cylinder-shaped seed capsules.

cutleaf eveningprimrose
Cutleaf eveningprimrose leaf is coarsely toothed.

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