Oenothera elata ssp. hookeri
Oenothera elata Kunth ssp. hookeri (Torr. & A. Gray) W. Dietr. & W.L. Wagner
Hooker's Evening-primrose, Giant Evening-primrose
Onagraceae (Evening Primrose Family)
Synonym(s): Oenothera biennis var. hookeri, Oenothera hookeri, Oenothera hookeri ssp. montereyensis
USDA Symbol: OEELH2
This is one of the largest and showiest of the evening-primroses. The biennial spends its first year as a low rosette of leaves. The second year, clusters of bright yellow, 3 in., flowers are borne atop the leafy 3-6 ft. stems. These flowers unfurl in late afternoon or at dusk, are quite fragrant, and have four heart-shaped petals.
Other subspecies of O. elata occur throughout the West, east to Montana, Kansas, and Texas.
The subspecies of this plant is named for William Jackson Hooker (1785-1865), who was Director of Kew Gardens from 1841-1865. He wrote “Flora boreali-americana” and many other works. He was founder and editor of “Journal of Botany”.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Biennial
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 6 feet tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct
Native Distribution: W. KS to CA, s. to Mex.
Native Habitat: Sandy stream banks; low, marshy areas
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Moist soils.
Conditions Comments: This plant tends to become weedy.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationDescription: Plant untreated seed in the fall. As with other biennials, it is best to plant the seeds two successive years to establish a continuously flowering population.
Seed Treatment: Seeds germinate without pretreatment.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Web ReferenceWebref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 37 - Calscape (2019) California Native Plant Society
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 ArchiveWildflower Newsletter 1989 VOL. 6, NO.2 - Wildflower Network Operates in Louisiana, Wildflower Handbook Published, Researc...
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Oenothera elata ssp. hookeri in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Oenothera elata ssp. hookeri in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Oenothera elata ssp. hookeri
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-21
Research By: TWC Staff