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Common Evening-primrose - Oenothera biennis

Favourite Photos

image species author location uploaded taken select
Common Evening-primrose Common Evening-primrose - Oenothera biennis dylan Keynsham Memorial Park 24 Sep 2022, 3:40 p.m. 6 Jul 2022, 12:23 p.m.
Common Evening-primrose Common Evening-primrose - Oenothera biennis dylan Bristol 1 Oct 2022, 6:30 p.m. 1 Oct 2022, 12:41 p.m.

Species Description

Widespread but scattered throughout most of the UK but the far North. Most common in the South. Habitat includes: wasteland, coast, rough, grassland, road side verges, Other names include: Evening Primrose, Evening Star, Sundrop, Weedy Evening Primrose, German Rampion, Hog-weed, King's cure-all, Fever-plant. Growing habit: Annual / Biennial. Height: Up to 1.6 m. Flowers: June to September.

Stace 4:

Oenothera biennis L. (O. cambrica RostaƄski, O. rubricaulis Kleb.) - Common Evening-primrose.

Stems erect, to 1.5m; green parts of stems and fruits without hairs with red bulbous bases (these present on red blotches on stems); rachis green at tip; sepals green; petals (1)1.5-3cm, wider than long; 2n=14. Neophyte-naturalised; same habitats as O. glazioviana; frequent in Britain North to Central Scotland, Isle of Man, Channel Islands, rare in Ireland; origin in Europe, America or both is disputed. The segregate O. cambrica is often recognised. It differs in green parts of stems and fruits with hairs with red bulbous bases; petals 2-3cm, about as wide as long; and lowest capsules without glandular hairs. It is coastal, or inland where introduced from coast, in Central & South Britain and Channel Islands. Reciprocal crosses and backcrosses between the two occur.


  • Petals (1)1.5-3cm; style shorter than stamens, the stigmas held at more or less the same level as anthers
  • Green parts of stems and fruits without hairs with red bulbous bases

Useful Links:

Online Atlas of the British and Irish Flora

Ecological Flora of Britain and Ireland







NBN List:

species aggregate:

  • Oenothera aggregate

  • Oenothera affinis xx

  • Common Evening-primrose (Oenothera biennis) //
  • Small-flowered Evening-primrose (Oenothera cambrica)
  • Oenothera canovirens
  • Oenothera drummondii
  • Oenothera fallax
  • Oenothera glazioviana
  • Oenothera humifusa
  • Oenothera indecora
  • Oenothera laciniata
  • Oenothera lipsiensis
  • Oenothera missouriensis
  • Oenothera parviflora
  • Oenothera perangusta
  • Oenothera perennis
  • Oenothera renneri
  • Oenothera rosea
  • Oenothera rubricaulis
  • Oenothera rubricuspis
  • Oenothera salicifolia
  • Oenothera stricta
  • Oenothera tetraptera
  • Oenothera victorinii

species hybrid:

  • Oenothera biennis x cambrica
  • Oenothera biennis x fallax
  • Oenothera fallax x glazioviana
  • Oenothera glazioviana x biennis = O. x fallax Renner
  • Oenothera glazioviana x biennis x cambrica
  • Oenothera glazioviana x cambrica = O. x britannica Rostanski