Tufted Evening Primrose

Tufted Evening Primrose, courtesy of Thomas G. Barnes @ University of Kentucky

© Thomas G. Barnes, University of Kentucky

Common Name(s):

Tufted Evening-primrose
Stemless Primrose
Fragrant Evening Primrose
White Stemless Evening Primrose
Gumbo Lily

Scientific Name(s):

Oenothera caespitosa Nutt.

Scientific Name Synonyms:

None Known




Life Span: Perennial

Origin: Native

Growth Characteristics: The flowers of tufted evening-primrose open late in the day and turn pink and wilt the following morning. It can grow up to 1 foot tall, is nearly stemless, and grows from a thick taproot. It blooms April-September. 

Flowers: Large white flower with four heart-shaped petals and eight yellow stamens.  Flowers can measure up to 3 inches across and have a wonderful fragrance.

Fruits/Seeds: Rough seedpods, about 1 inch long, form soon after flowering.

Leaves: A basal rosette of lance-shaped and toothed leaves, growing up to 12 inches long. The leaves are crinkly, gray-green, and fuzzy.

Stems: Very short

Ecological Adaptations:

Found in pinyon-juniper woodlands and shadscale scrub communities. Common on roadsides, and is often abundant on steep dry slopes and sandy soils. Found at elevations of 2980-9500 feet. 

Soils: Well-drained, rocky, sandy soils.

Associated Species: Pinyon pine, Utah juniper, shadscale.

Uses and Management:

Cattle seem to avoid evening-primrose. Young shoots and roots of some evening-primroses are eaten by humans.