En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Range and adaptability of evening primrose from Tucson AZ

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - August 28, 2009

From: Tucson, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Drought Tolerant, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Range and adaptability of evening primrose from Tucson AZ
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is the natural range of the evening primrose? What adaptations does it have to live in the arid Southwest?

ANSWER:

There are 12 plants with the common name "evening primrose" in our Native Plant Database. There are 4 native to Arizona, so we chose to give you the ranges of those. 

Calylophus hartwegii ssp. pubescens (Hartweg's sundrops) -blooms yellow March to August. Range in Arizona from USDA Plant Profile. Range in North America

Calylophus serrulatus (yellow sundrops) - blooms yellow April to July.  Range in Arizona from USDA Plant Profile. Range in North America

Oenothera caespitosa (tufted evening-primrose) - blooms white April to August. Range in Arizona from USDA Plant Profile. Range in North America.

Oenothera speciosa (pinkladies) - blooms white or pink February to July. Range in Arizona from USDA Plant Profile.  Range in North America. 

To try to find out what were the traits of these plants that made them drought resistant, we found three websites that had a great deal of information:  Central Washington Native Plants  Plant Adaptations in Arid Environments; Plant Life in the World's Meditteranean Climates, by Peter R. Dallman, from University of California Press; Arizona Sonora Desert Museum Center for Sonoran Desert Studies How Plants Cope with the Desert Climate.

From this information, we found that the characteristics that the plants share that contribute to their survival are:

Long, narrow leaves, to avoid loss of moisture. Leaves also are hairy or downy, are blue-gray on the underside, and may fold up in the heat of the day.

Most of these plants bloom in the evening, and blooms close the next day when the heat begins to rise, again reducing moisture loss. 

Taproots-the seedlings quickly put down a taproot for moisture, and the mature plant develops a network of fine roots near the surface of the soil.

Plants may go dormant in summer, resprouting with rains.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery


Calylophus hartwegii ssp. pubescens

Calylophus serrulatus

Oenothera caespitosa

Oenothera speciosa

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Kinnikinnick for a green roof
July 04, 2012 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I live just north of Seattle and want to build a green roof (outdoor kitchen) I'm concerned about the weight of the soil (saturated), drainage etc. am building from scratch and...
view the full question and answer

Trimming of Pineapple Sage and Salvia Greggii
October 07, 2007 - I live in Central Austin. My question is: When is the best time to trim back Pineapple Sage and Salvia Gregii? How far back should these plants be trimmed?
view the full question and answer

Non-blooming Hypericum in Eastern Pennsylvania
June 14, 2009 - I purchased a St. Johnswort about 3 years ago. I has never bloomed. It is alive & well. I know this since it has started to spread shoots. Is there a trick to this one? Occasionally something I plant ...
view the full question and answer

Correct cultural conditions for liatris
April 15, 2008 - I recently bought some gayfeather (liatris pycnostachya) and planted in my yard in a nice full sun spot. Gets sun for roughly 10 hours a day. However, it's also the single driest spot in my yard (jus...
view the full question and answer

Propagation information from Queens NY
October 04, 2012 - Hello. I would appreciate information on when to plant the following plants. I found on the USDA website that all these plants could withstand the cold. ALthough they can withstand harsh weather, ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center