En EspaŅol

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
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
1 rating

Thursday - April 25, 2013

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Seed and Plant Sources, Seeds and Seeding, Wildflowers
Title: Source for seeds of Mexican primrose from Dallas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can I purchase Mexican Evening Primrose seeds now for planting in the fall or do I need to wait for the fresh crop of seeds that will be gathered from this spring flowering. How can I be assured the seeds are "fresh". I want to establish a "colony" of the primroses on a sunny slope that is rather dry. After the first year's growth, will I need to supplement water? Live in Dallas.

ANSWER:

First please read a recent Mr. Smarty Plants answer that will tell you what we already know about Oenothera speciosa (Pink evening primrose), just to save us some typing. As you can see from this USDA Plant Profile Map this plant is native to Dallas County, so your soils, rainfall and climate should be appropriate. You want to know that sort of thing before you ever go shopping for seeds or plants.

If you follow the plant link above to our webpage on this plant, you will get the answers to some of your questions under growing conditions. This includes that it has low to medium water use, but it cannot withstand complete soil dryness, so you may have to make arrangements to sprinkle it occasionally in very dry weather. It needs full sun (6 or more hours of sun a day) to bloom, but will survive in shade. We know of no way to ensure freshness of seeds, but reputable suppliers will have the date gathered information. Under propagation on our webpage, propagation instructions are for root division, seeds, or softwood cuttings. Also,  propagate by seed in fall. After distributing seed evenly, rake into loosened topsoil to ensure good seed/soil contact. Seeding rate is ½ pound per acre but supply is extremely limited. We are not sure if that is because the seeds are very tiny and difficult to gather, or because it can be an invasive plant and gathering of seeds is not encouraged. Getting the seed to germinate may be difficult. The pre-germination requirements are not determined.

As far as sources of seed, back to our webpage:

Order seed of this species from Native American Seed and help support the Wildflower Center.

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

 

You can also go to our National Suppliers Directory, put your town and state or just your zipcode in the "Enter Search Location" box, click on GO,  and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed companies and consultants in your general area. All have contact information so you can inquire in advance about availability.

 

From the Image Gallery


Pink evening primrose
Oenothera speciosa

Pink evening primrose
Oenothera speciosa

Pink evening primrose
Oenothera speciosa

More Invasive Plants Questions

Growing native vines in pots from Houston
May 28, 2012 - I am writing in regards to your often mentioned issue of plants not doing as well in pots and in the ground. After last years drought, i moved all the plants I had that were in danger of dying of t...
view the full question and answer

Control of English ivy
November 27, 2007 - I need to know if there is a way to kill, or contain, English Ivy that was planted as groundcover next door. Despite my discouragement, my next door neighbor planted English Ivy as groundcover all alo...
view the full question and answer

Absence of grass around a willow tree in Georgia
December 22, 2008 - In the past three years my Willow tree has grown from a stick to a lovely tree. Unfortunately, the grass under and around the tree is gone. Nothing left but dirt. Is there a remedy?
view the full question and answer

Eliminating dogbane from transplanted milkweed in Franklin Lakes NJ
May 10, 2010 - We transplanted milkweed from the wild into our garden. Included in the clump of milkweed was dogbane. We weren't aware of how invasive dogbane is. We've has some success in digging it out but we'...
view the full question and answer

Removal of thistles from Columbus TX
May 20, 2014 - I am sorry if you have an answer in FAQs but I could not find it. We recently cleared property near Columbus Texas of many cedars (ash junipers). This spring we experienced a profusion of thistle -...
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