Oenothera biennis ssp.

Common Evening Primrose

Common Evening Primrose is an erect, 2-6 ft. bienniel with leafy, branched stems from a basal rosette.At the top of a leafy stalk bloom lemon-scented, large yellow flowers. Stem hairy, often purple-tinged. The bright-yellow, four-petaled flowers, up to 2 inches across, open at night. These fragrant flowers occur in a many-flowered, terminal spike.

The flowers of this night-flowering bienniel open in the evening and close by noon. The plant takes 2 years to complete its life cycle, with basal leaves becoming established the first year, and flowering occurring the second. The roots are edible, and the seeds are important for wintering birds.