FRAGRANT EVENING-PRIMROSE

FRAGRANT EVENING PRIMROSE

Oenothera stricta

Willowherb Family [Onagraceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZneophyte
 
flower
flower8yellow
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ4
 
type
typeZspiked
 
stem
stem8round
 
smell
smell8fragrant
fragrant

19th June 2006, St Helens, Duver, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Usually the shortest Evening Primrose, at up to 1m high. The first thing that strikes your Author as being different to all (most?) other Evening-primroses is that the last to flower are not at the summit, but part-way up the stem.


Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
An introduced species from North America which now naturalises on sand dunes near the coast.


17th May 2007, Bembridge Point, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Has a spike of large but usually floppy and misshapen yellow flowers (petals 1.5 - 3.5cm)


19th June 2006, St Helens, Duver, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The flowers are all-yellow; the orange 'flags' are spent flowers.


20th Sept 2005, St Helens, Duver, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The lower leaves are highly distinctive for an Evening-primrose: they are all linear (long and narrow).


20th Sept 2005, St Helens, Duver, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Despite the somewhat convoluted folding on this specimen, there are but 4 petals on all Evening-primroses.


20th Sept 2005, St Helens, Duver, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The edges of the linear leaves have a few very small triangular teeth along their length with long but regular gaps in-between. The upper leaves are lanceolate, and wider near the stem.


20th Sept 2005, St Helens, Duver, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The linear and slightly-toothed lower leaves.


19th June 2006, St Helens, Duver, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Evening-primroses have just one style (with a X-cross atop) but eight T-bar anthers.


20th Sept 2005, St Helens, Duver, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The flowers are potentially smaller than the other Evening-primroses at just 35mm across as the minimum size, but also potentially larger with 60mm for their maximum size.


20th Sept 2005, St Helens, Duver, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
In Oenothera stricta the style is equal in height to the anthers, as shown.


19th June 2006, St Helens, Duver, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Another identifying feature is the first part of the 2-part flower 'stalk' which is hidden behind an upright leaf. But there is another one just to the left of it (bottom, left-a-bit) and it is a much darker colour than the rest of the flower 'stalk'. Oenothera stricta is supposed to have just a few hairs on it and they are supposed to stick outwards (rather than 45° upwards) and they should not have red bulbous bases (which they don't, here).

But they are supposed to have sepals hanging downwards more or less parallel to the flower stalk (alas, on this specimen they are splaying downwards and outwards). The sepals on Oenothera stricta should be either red-striped and/or suffused red (here just red, no stripes).


Easily confused with : other Evening-primroses (Oenothera) species. See the text for differences, and be reasonably reassured that this one does not hybridize.

Not to be semantically confused with : Fragrant Agrimony (Agrimonia procera), Fragrant-Orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea) [plants with similar names belonging to differing families]

Don't judge Evening-primroses by the size of the flower. Look instead at the relative sizes of the anthers and style:
anthers longer: Common Evening-Primrose, Intermediate Evening-primrose and Small-flowered Evening-primrose
styles longer: Large-Flowered Evening-Primrose
styles and anthers about equal: Fragrant Evening-primrose
But don't forget that, especially on the Sefton Coast, the hybrids are much more abundant than their pure species (that is, if any are left at all according to some experts).

Fragrant Evening-primrose is one of those Evening-primroses which does not engage in rampant promiscuity with other willing species of Evening-primrose, unlike several others which create hybrid swarms. See  Hybrid Swarms


  Oenothera stricta  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Onagraceae  

Distribution
 family8Willowherb family8Onagraceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Oenothera
Oenothera
(Evening-Primroses)

FRAGRANT EVENING-PRIMROSE

FRAGRANT EVENING PRIMROSE

Oenothera stricta

Willowherb Family [Onagraceae]