It is thought that 'Oenothera' is Greek for 'wine scenting' and refers to the ancient use of eveningprimrose roots in scenting wine.
The plant was likely named 'eveningprimrose' because its flowers open at dusk.
Because flowers are open over night, eveningprimrose flowers are usually pollinated by night-flying insects.
Roots are edible if collected during the first year before the plant blooms.
Common eveningprimrose has been assigned numerous medicinal properties. For example, researchers are experimenting with a rich oil extracted from the seeds for use as a treatment for burns and other skin wounds.