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Oenothera laciniata (Cutleaf evening-primrose)
Pyle, Lynn

Oenothera laciniata

Oenothera laciniata Hill

Cutleaf Evening-primrose, Cut-leaved Evening Primrose

Onagraceae (Evening Primrose Family)

Synonym(s): Raimannia laciniata


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

The cut-leaved evening primrose grows 4-24 inches high, erect or prostrate. Leaves are alternate, simple, pinnately cleft into rounded lobes, or sometimes merely wavy-edged or toothed. Usually they are about 2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. The small, pale yellow flowers are borne singly in the axils, with 4 heart shaped petals 1/5-3/5 inch long, 8 stamens, and 1 pistil. They have 4 pinkish sepals, united at the base to form a tube.


From the Image Gallery

21 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Margin: Cleft
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 2 feet tall.
Flower: 4 sepals turning down

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
Bloom Notes: Yellow, fading orange to reddish.


USA: AL , AR , CA , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , HI , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NE , NJ , NM , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV , WY
Native Habitat: Almost all of North America east of the Rocky Mountains and some areas west of the Rockies. Found on disturbed ground, fields, and fencerows. Grows in well drained sandy and limestone soils.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Conditions Comments: Leaves are narrow with toothed to deeply lobed margins. They have a distinctive white midvein. The pale yellow flowers have pinkish sepals and open in the evening withering the next morning. The fruit is an elongated, curved pod. Seed in spring.


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.


Propagation Material: Root Division
Maintenance: Prevent complete soil dryness, Maintain mulch layer, Remove spent blossoms, Fertilize in spring with rose food

Find Seed or Plants

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

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.

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Naval Air Station Kingsville - Kingsville, TX
Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
Stengl Biological Research Station - Smithville, TX

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0551 Collected Apr 8, 1988 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe
NPSOT 0594 Collected Apr 28, 1991 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe

2 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium


Bibref 766 - Dale Groom's Texas Gardening Guide (2002) Groom, D.
Bibref 281 - Shinners & Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas (1999) Diggs, G. M.; B. L. Lipscomb; B. O'Kennon; W. F...
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.

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


Record Modified: 2023-02-21
Research By: NPC

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