Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - April 16, 2013

From: Baton Rouge, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Invasive Plants, Wildflowers
Title: White evening primrose from Baton Rouge LA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My husband and I have a disagreement about Mexican Primroses. I believe I have seen patches of them which are pure white. He believes they must be faded pink ones. Do white ones occasionally grow?

ANSWER:

If you follow this link to our webpage on Oenothera speciosa (Pink evening primrose), you will see that it shows both white and pink as bloom color. On that same page is Bloom Infomation:

"Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul
Bloom Notes: In southern parts of its range, blooms tend to be darker pink or rose and to open in the morning. Northern populations are often paler or white and night-blooming. An average coloration would have shell-pink blooms that transition to white in the center and are veined in a deeper pink. Flowers release a scent starting at dusk. In the most southerly parts of its range, from Chihuahuan Desert grasslands to northeastern Mexico, blooms whenever temperatures are above freezing. Elsewhere, blooms heaviest during spring, with blooms diminishing in size as the weather gets hotter. Each flower lasts only a single day."

Since the blooms last only a single day, we are inclined to agree with you that the white blooms you observe could not be faded pink blooms. Here is another article on the white evening primrose.  These bloom at night and attract night-flying pollinators.

 

From the Image Gallery


Pink evening primrose
Oenothera speciosa

Pink evening primrose
Oenothera speciosa

Pink evening primrose
Oenothera speciosa

More Wildflowers Questions

Deer Resistant, Fast Growing Groundcover Suggestions for Georgia
April 20, 2013 - Our driveway is 1/4 mile in length and is steep on both sides (one side up one side down). It currently has grass that our contractor planted using seed when we built our house. We are unable to cut t...
view the full question and answer

When is it safe to mow wildflowers in Castroville, TX?
May 26, 2010 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, My yard in Castroville, TX sprouted many wildflowers early in April. By now the Blue Bonnets are seeded and gone. However, I still have a lot of Mexican Blankets. My husba...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Rohelís saxifrage
May 11, 2005 - Hi, can you help? Do you know what is a plant named: Rohelís saxifrage? "Bulgaria - Cenral Balkan National Park - Kozya Stena (Chamois Wall) Reserve was established on December 22, 1987. With an a...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower seed balls
November 13, 2007 - On one of the HGTV garden shows Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center was featured. It showed how you could make little dirt balls filled with wild flower seeds and throw them around your land making i...
view the full question and answer

How and when to harvest bluebonnets.
April 30, 2010 - A previous answer mentioned harvesting bluebonnet seeds by pulling up the whole plant when the seed pods turn brown. Two clarifications - when do the seed pods turn brown as these plants are hard to ...
view the full question and answer

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