Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Good morning, evening primrose!

What is better than a serendipitous plant discovery?  Maybe receiving a gift of that serendipitous plant discovery!

Evening primrose (Oenothera sp.) in the morning

Common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) has been on my wish list for years.  Although this American native appears variously as plants tall and short, lovers of damp or dry soils, and with blooms of white, pink, and even blue, my heart was set on a finding a well-behaved specimen that approximated the wild yellow-flowering version.

So how happy was I that last Independence Day weekend my sister-in-law offered a few seedlings of the sunny yellow specimens from her Maine coastal cottage garden in gratitude for a morning of weeding?

Pulling weeds, Harpswell, July 2015

Of the four seedlings that I transplanted, only the one best situated survived our winter. In bloom, it lights up a semi-sunny, well-drained bed.

While this nameless charmer might be a member of the genus Oenothera, I'm not sure of either species or variety. I'm guessing Oenothera fruticosa by reference to its size, leaf shape, soil preference, and sunny disposition. My only regret is that, despite the name, this evening primrose's yellow flowers are usually folding up by the time that I get home.

Closing up for the night

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