Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Tuesday - April 29, 2014

From: Brookshire, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: User Comments, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Synchronized blooming of cutleaf evening primrose from Brookshire TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have cutleaf evening primrose (grandis) that puts on such an enchanting show, opening every evening in late April, precisely at 8:00 , that guests sit in chairs to watch the spectacle. Incredibly, each bud pops open in the blink of an eye. I have never seen anything written about this lovely phenomenon . I know of no other flower that does this. Are my plants unusual? If this is a common trait, I think it should be publicized more.

ANSWER:

If you follow this link,Oenothera speciosa (Pink evening primrose) to our webpage on that plant, you will find this comment on the blooming habits:

"As the common name implies, most evening primrose species open their flowers in the evening, closing them again early each morning. The flowers of some members of the genus open in the evening so rapidly that the movement can almost be observed."

Obiously, this is also the case with your Oenothera laciniata (Cutleaf evening-primrose), so it has been publicized to a certain extent. From Wikipedia:

"Oenothera is a genus of about 145 species of herbaceous flowering plants native to the Americas. It is the type genus of the family Onagraceae. Common names include evening primrose, suncups, and sundrops."

We think that many of these plants are roadside plants; you could even call them weeds. They are very low growing and with foliage growing along the ground, that possibly the cars whizzing by simply can't see the impromptu show. You are to be congratulated for having recognized this trait, and making it accessible to others.

 

From the Image Gallery


Cutleaf evening-primrose
Oenothera laciniata

Cutleaf evening-primrose
Oenothera laciniata

Cutleaf evening-primrose
Oenothera laciniata

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Restoring disturbed land in Marshall, TX.
December 04, 2014 - I have a 30 acre tract of land in Marshall, Texas. The oil company has turned 2-3 acres surrounding the rig into gravel. I would like to return the gravel area to green space. Any suggestions on gras...
view the full question and answer

Plants to hide utility boxes
July 16, 2008 - What are suggestions for plants to plant around utilities boxes (3 of them clustered together) to effectively camouflage them but be attractive. We will outline a larger area in brick, plant evergree...
view the full question and answer

Texas natives that attract butterflies but not deer
December 13, 2012 - I'd like to have some plants in my garden that are butterfly attractors, but that whitetail deer won't like. I can find lists of butterfly plants, and lists of deer-resistant plants -- is there a li...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for full sun in Gwinnett County, Georgia
June 23, 2007 - I'm writing to you from Gwinnett County Parks and Rec. at the Pinckneyville Community Center in Norcross, GA. We are looking to plant our garden and are wondering if you have any suggestions for min...
view the full question and answer

Texas native plants for cemetery site
February 09, 2005 - I am trying to landscape my mothers gravesite located in far East Texas (just outside of Nacogdoches) and I am looking for some evergreen bushes or any other decorative plants for that area. I am thi...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.