Oenothera biennis

Common Names: Common evening-primrose, evening star, sun drop, weedy evening primrose, German rampion, hog weed, King's cure-all, fever-plant
Category: Plants
Sub-category: Evening primrose family

Grows to 30 to 150 cm tall. The leaves are lanceolate, 5 to 20 cm long and 1 to 2.5 cm broad, produced in a tight rosette the first year, and spirally on a stem the second year. The flowers are produced on a tall spike and only last until the following noon. They open visibly fast every evening producing an interesting spectacle, hence the name 'evening primrose.' The blooms are pale yellow, 2.5 to 5 cm diameter, with four petals and hermaphrodite. The flower structure has an invisible to the naked eye bright nectar guide pattern. This pattern is apparent under ultraviolet light and visible to its pollinators, moths, butterflies and bees. The fruit is a capsule 2 to 4 cm long and 4 to 6 mm broad, containing numerous 1 to 2 mm long seeds, released when the capsule splits into four sections at maturity.

Blooming lasts from late spring to late summer.

Edible Notes: Virtually all parts of the plant are edible. The roots can be eaten raw or cooked like potatoes. The leaves of the evening primrose can be used from April to June when the plant is not flowering yet. They can be eaten raw in salads or cooked like spinach or in soups. The flowering stems are preferably used when they are still young in June. They have to be peeled and can then be eaten raw or fried. The flower buds are denoted as delicacy and can be harvested from June to September. They are mild in taste and can be eaten raw in salads, pickled in oil, fried or in soups. The flowers themselves are edible as well and have a sweet taste. They can be used as garnish for salads but also in desserts. When the fruits are still green in August and September they can be used similar to the flowering stems. The seeds are probably the part of the evening primrose which is most widely used. They have a rather high protein content of about 15%.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.
Sightings