Tall biennial plant with yellow inflorescences. Common evening-primrose is called a night candle because its flowers at night give off an intense, pleasant fragrance that attracts moths, and other insects. Wild, non-cultivar seeds.
€1,50 – €3,50
Polish name: biennial evening primrose, night candle
Latin Name: Oenothera biennis L.
Family: the willowherb family Oenotheraceae
Status in Poland: a permanently established North American species, very common
Extremely large, up to 2 m high biennial plant.
Massive, single, erect, aboveground shoots, alternate spiral foliaged, hairy with hair structure quite characteristic of the species. Single hairs are terminal pointed, low-arching with tapered glandulars at the base.
Common evening-primrose produces two types of leaves: basal, and stem. The basal ones form rosette, have long petioles, clinging to the ground, with obtuse apex, and obelliptical in shape. The stem leaves, on the other hand, have short petioles, acuter apex, are oblong-lanceolate, in specimens grown in full sun with clear red veining.
The flower buds are green with touching sepals. The flowers of this plant are light yellow with a four-sepaled calyx and a corolla, with eight stamens that grow in the leaf axils.
The fruit of the common evening-primrose is a four-lobed, elongated, ovoid capsule. Seeds numerous, inconspicuous, some exploding from the capsule, others spread by the wind.
The common evening-primrose loves sunny places and tolerates heat, drought and frost very well. It copes well on permeable soils as well as on very weak, infertile, contaminated, very dry, and sandy.
Planted in flower beds and butterfly gardens, it often revives spontaneously. Common evening-primrose can also be multiplied by dividing clumps.
Recommended sowing in autumn or early spring directly into the ground with a spacing of 0.4 m to a depth of 1 cm.
Evening-primroses, including the common one, have played an important role in cosmetology and medicine for decades. The seeds rich in unsaturated fatty acids are used to making drugs against diabetes, atherosclerosis, asthma, atopic dermatitis, multiple sclerosis, premenstrual syndrome, and prostate enlargement.
Delicate young leaves, shoots and roots can be eaten after cooking. They are quite burning in taste, used as a spice rather than a vegetable.
Common evening-primrose is valued for being a forage until late autumn. Honey bees visit it in the morning, in the evening, or on rainy and cloudy days only, because the common evening primrose flowers are generally open at night and pollinated by moths.