Evening Primrose

Evening Primrose

3.25

(Oenothera biennis)

Gardener’s ham is one of the funniest names of this plant! Other names include: evening star, sun drop, German rampion, King’s cure-all. Every part of this wildflower can be eaten; flowers, leaves, seeds, roots and peeled flowering stalks. The seeds are pressed for their oils, gammalinoleic acid (GLA) and linoleic acid (LA), which are used as supplements and in cosmetics for their anti-inflammatory and pain reducing capabilities. Cook the root of the first year plant, when raw, it can be irritating to the throat. The young leaves of flowering stems can be eaten as braising green or potherb, tender seedpods can be cooked, flowerbuds can be eaten raw or cooked and flowers can be added raw to salads. The flowers have a sweet taste and the other parts have a slight peppery flavor. This biennial to short-lived perennial plant is native to most of the United States except for the intermountain states interestingly enough.

The large, pale yellow, four-petaled flowers open in the evening and are lemon scented. As the name suggests, they are favored by evening and nighttime pollinators like the Sphynx moth.

Evening primrose will often form a rosette of leaves near the ground in the first year and then send up flower stalks in the second year that can grow up to 6 feet tall but are typically shorter. Our plants went from seed to seed in one moderate length growing season (~158 frost free days). They were direct seeded in early spring and started flowering by July.

Packet: 100 seeds

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