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Oenothera biennis

Top view of elongating stem of common eveningprimrose.

Close-up of common eveningprimrose flower.

Side view of common eveningprimrose flowers and flower buds.

  • 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.