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Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Oenothera elata (Hooker's evening-primrose)
Anderson, Wynn

Oenothera elata

Oenothera elata Kunth

Hooker's Evening-primrose, Hooker's Evening Primrose

Onagraceae (Evening Primrose Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A tall, erect, usually unbranched stem with large yellow flowers in a raceme.

Common Evening-primrose (O. biennis), found throughout most of the United States, has similar erect stems, but its petals are less than 1" (2.5 cm) long. Both are closely related to the Garden Evening-primrose (O. erythrosepala), scattered in the wild from western Washington to California, which is a taller plant, with redder sepals, paler petals about 1 1/2" (3.8 cm) long, and crinkled leaves.


From the Image Gallery

5 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Biennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 8 feet tall.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct


USA: AZ , CA , CO , ID , KS , MT , NM , NV , OK , OR , TX , UT , WA , WY
Canada: NS
Native Distribution: Eastern Washington to Baja California; east to western Texas and southern Colorado; south as far as Panama
Native Habitat: Open slopes, road banks, and grassy areas from the plains well into the mountains.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low


Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1989 VOL. 6, NO.2 - Wildflower Network Operates in Louisiana, Wildflower Handbook Published, Researc...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Oenothera elata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Oenothera elata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Oenothera elata


Record Modified: 2023-04-20
Research By: TWC Staff

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