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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.

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

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Thursday - June 03, 2010

From: Erie, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of night-blooming yellow flower
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

My Nonna used to have a plant that was a night bloomer. It had leaves that looked like a dandelion, and bloomed a bright yellow flower at dusk. I have never seen anything like it although they were plentiful at her house. She may have pulled them for weeds later in life since she does not have them anymore. I would love to find them again since the blooms almost seemed irridescent.

ANSWER:

There are two native yellow evening primroses that grow in Pennsylvania (I am assuming that your Nonna lived in Pennsylvania)—Oenothera laciniata (cutleaf evening-primrose) and Oenothera triloba (stemless evening-primrose).  Both plants have leaves that resemble a dandelion's and both open in the late afternoon or evening and close the following morning.  You should be able to get seeds for either of these.  Check our National Suppliers Directory to find nurseries and seed companies near you that specialize in native plants.

Here are photos of the two from our Image Gallery:


Oenothera laciniata

Oenothera laciniata

Oenothera triloba

Oenothera triloba

 

 

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