Evening Primrose Wildflower

Nature & Nurture Seeds

Oenothera spp.


Pkt (≈275 seeds)

Large lemon-yellow flowers appear atop 3-5 ft plants in the second year. Faithful to the moon, the fragrant flowers of these native plants open at night and attract night pollinators such as hummingbird moths, hawkmoths, and certain bees. The entire plant has been used in traditional herbal medicine. The tiny seeds can be pressed to make an oil that is used topically to hydrate skin.

Plants are a biennial and produce a short rosette (cluster of leaves) the first year, followed by 3-4 ft. stalk with blooms the second year. Native to North America and fast growing, it is a good choice for the early stages of native plantings especially on dry soils. It establishes early, covering the soil during the first few years while slower native perennials get established. It has a biennial lifecycle so it will slowly disappear as other, more long-lived plants take hold. Evening primrose is a little wild and lanky looking and it produces copious seeds so it may become weedy in a formal garden.

Seeds are Upper Midwest genotype.

This is a great seed to plant in a new wildflower planting because it will germinate and grow quickly and cover the ground to keep weeds out for the first few years while the slower growing native wildflowers get going. Native wildflowers require a “cold stratification” or cold treatment before they will germinate. Options: 1) sow seeds outside before March 1st or 2) mix the seeds into ½ cup of moist sand in a sealed plastic bag and place in the refrigerator for 6 weeks before planting or 3) Plant the seeds in the late summer or fall so they are naturally exposed to the cold and will germinate the following spring/summer. Plant these seeds in bare mineral soil In a full sun location. After germination, thin the seedlings so that they are about 1 1/2 ft apart. You can also start indoors May through July in pots or flats after first cold stratification in the refrigerator. Germination takes about 14-21 days at 70 degrees. Transplant after several true leaves have developed. Evening Primrose is a biennial which means that in its first year of life, the plants will not flower but will produce a leafy rosette at ground level. In its second year, stiff flower stems will shoot out from its base. Plants will re-seed which is perfect for a wild planting but they may become weedy in a formal garden.