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Oenothera fruticosa (Narrowleaf evening-primrose)
Smith, R.W.

Oenothera fruticosa

Oenothera fruticosa L.

Narrowleaf Evening-primrose, Narrow-leaf Evening-primrose, Sundrops, Narrowleaf Evening Primrose

Onagraceae (Evening Primrose Family)


USDA Symbol: oefr

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

Narrow-leaf Evening-primrose or Sundrops is an 18-36 in. perennial with a diffusely clustered system of unbranched stems. The lance-shaped leaves are 2-3 in. long, while the showy, golden-yellow, four-petaled flowers average 2 in. in diameter.

Narrowleaf Evening-primrose spreads rapidly under favorable conditions but does not usually become aggressive. In the South, the over-wintering basal rosette is evergreen and reddish-purple in appearance.


From the Image Gallery

21 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
Bloom Notes: Yellow, fading to pink.


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , WV
Native Distribution: S. New England to NY, TN & MO, s. to FL & OK
Native Habitat: Dry woods, roadsides & meadows

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Well-drained soils. Tolerant of brackish and lime soils.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Hummingbirds

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

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


Description: Propagate by seed, stem cuttings taken after flowering or separation of outer rosettes in the fall. The easiest method of increase simply involved bending the flexible stems to the ground and covering the nodes with a bit of soil. Rooting will occur rap
Seed Treatment: Seeds mature slowly. The capsule become hard as they develop and are best opened with pruning shears. When some seeds should fall from the end of the capsule it is time to collect. Store the dried seed in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Commercially Avail: yes

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:

Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College, The - Valhalla, NY

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


Record Modified: 2023-02-21
Research By: TWC Staff

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