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Oenothera fruticosa ssp. tetragona (Narrowleaf evening-primrose)
Brundage, Stephanie

Oenothera fruticosa ssp. tetragona

Oenothera fruticosa L. ssp. tetragona (Roth) W.L. Wagner

Narrowleaf Evening-primrose, Sundrops

Onagraceae (Evening Primrose Family)

Synonym(s): Kneiffia glauca, Kneiffia hybrida, Kneiffia latifolia, Kneiffia tetragona, Oenothera fruticosa ssp. glauca, Oenothera riparia, Oenothera tetragona, Oenothera tetragona ssp. glauca, Oenothera tetragona var. fraseri, Oenothera tetragona var. hybrida, Oenothera tetragona var. latifolia


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

A longstanding garden favorite, this Oenothera lends vivid yellow color during late spring and early summer. Its dark green foliage provides a soothing backdrop to the flowers. It colonizes via stolons and runners but isn't terribly aggressive, remaining at a well-behaved 2 feet by 2 feet when planted. In the wild, it occurs naturally in woodland openings east of the Mississippi River in acidic, typically rocky, but rich soils.


From the Image Gallery

9 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Normally 1 to 2 feet tall, but can exceed 5 feet.
Leaf: Dark green with reddish tinge in winter.
Flower: Flowers 2 inches wide.
Fruit: 1/2 inch.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
Bloom Notes: Flowers close at night.


USA: AL , CT , DC , DE , GA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MO , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , WV
Native Distribution: east of the Mississippi River, Zones 5 through 8
Native Habitat: Sunny, rocky spots and open woodlands

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low , Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Drought Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Tolerates a wide range but likes high acidity, rich soils. Also grows in clay, sandy, and rocky soil.
Conditions Comments: Prefers good drainage and does not tolerate lime or brackish soils.


Use Ornamental: An old-fashioned garden favorite finding renewed favor as native plants become popular.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Hummingbirds
Nectar Source: 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.


Propagation Material: Root Division , Seeds
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

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

Additional resources

USDA: Find Oenothera fruticosa ssp. tetragona in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Oenothera fruticosa ssp. tetragona in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Oenothera fruticosa ssp. tetragona


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

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