Primrose (Oenothera biennis)
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"And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.
And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day" (Genesis 1:31)
Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)
Table of Contents
(Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) - 01
To the best of our knowledge, all of the evening primrose photos in this series
are Oenothera biennis; however, since there are about fifty species of evening
primrose, the subtle differences of some of these evening primroses in the
photos may be of one of these other species.
(Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) - 01a
The literature says that some of the evening primrose species open in the late
afternoon, as their name implies, and then they close the next morning.
Nevertheless, some of these evening primrose photos were taken during the middle of the day.
(Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) - 01b
Each flower of the evening primrose can vary in size from one to two inches in
diameter, with four reflexed sepals, four broad petals, eight stamens, and one
pistil with a cross shaped stigma.
(Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) - 01c
The leaves of the evening primrose are lanceolate with wavy-toothed edges.
The leaves grow alternately along the stems. Another curious thing is that
the only reference to a hairy species that we found was a day-blooming variety
of evening primrose, Oenothera fruticosa, but that species had linear leaves
unlike the ones pictured here.
(Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) - 02
In this close-up view of the evening primrose flower, the outer heart-shape of
each petal is clearly visible; however it is still difficult to distinguish the
cross design of the stigma on the pistil.
(Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) - 02a
In this close-up view of an evening primrose bud cluster, the tips of each of
the four sepals can be clearly seen. As the bud opens, these sepals will
peel back and curl downward as the flower spreads out its petals.
(Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) - 04
In this photo of the alternately growing leaves of the evening primrose, we can
see some of the purple veining, which is usually only associated with the stems,
and the wavy-toothed edges.
(Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) - 05
The evening primrose can grow in height from one to five feet. Evening
primroses bloom from June through October. The ones in our yard begin
blooming in June and stop in July, while others don't begin to bloom until
August. We could not distinguish any differences in the plants that might
indicate a different species.
(Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) - 06
The bright yellow flower of this evening primrose is just another example of
diverse beauty in God's creation. Yellow is the most common color of the
evening primrose, some ranging in color from white to pink.
(Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) - 06a
In this bee's eye view of the center of the evening primrose flower we can
clearly see the cross-shaped stigma at the tip of the pistil, and the veining in
the petals. With the light and shadows, it is still difficult to
distinguish each of the eight stamens.
(Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) - 07
Our taking these photos and presenting the beauty of God's creation is a way of
"taking time to smell the roses," or in this case, the evening primroses.
Taking this time is a way of focusing upon something we hope helps make this a kinder and gentler world.
(Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) - 08
This is another bee's eye view of the center of an evening primrose flower with
its eight stamens and one pistil with the cross-shaped stigma. These are
characteristic of all evening primroses.
(Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) - 09a
According to the literature, the young stems and leaves of the evening primrose
have been eaten as cooked greens. When the roots of the evening primrose
are boiled, they taste like parsnip. The seed pods were eaten by Native Americans.
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