Oenothera biennis | Common Evening Primrose
Native to Europe and North America and now cultivated worldwide for medicinal use, Evening Primrose, also called Evening Star, or Sundrop, is both edible and medicinal and extremely easy to grow in almost any landscape. It typically acts as a biennial flowering during the second year of growth, however seed-stock can occasionally flower the first year.
Almost looking like an Asiatic Lily before bloom, the beautiful, edible, bright yellow flowers eventually open every afternoon and stay open through the evening, giving off a pleasant aroma. This herb is very drought tolerant, always producing blooms in the evenings, even after a long sun-baked day.
Sow seeds directly where they are to grow in fall or early spring or start indoors several weeks before the last frost, using the most standard seed sprouting practices and seeds should germinate within 2-4 weeks.
Plants will set abundant seed of which a medicinal oil may be procured. Seedlings can crowd your garden and landscape in subsequent years if not collected or kept an eye on, especially in dry, gravely soils. Seeds can stay viable in soil for 70+ years. Fortunately, these plants are delicious and nutritious edibles. In the first year, leaves may be lightly harvested and used like spinach. Roots may be harvested in autumn and prepared similarly to Salsify. Unopened buds were preserved for winter use by Native Americans, and crushed leaves were applied to wounds to encourage healing.
Sun exposure: Part shade to full sun
Mature height: 3-5 ft
Mature width: 2-3 ft
Hardiness zones: 4-9