Oenothera cespitosa (Gumbo Evening Primrose) - photos and description






General: Cespitose, acaulescent plants with large, showy flowers. Plants rhizomatous.

I have grown these from seed and planted them in my rock garden. Terribly invasive (rhizomatous) in my garden, had to quit growing it. I've been told it's better behaved in gardens with heavy clay soils.

Flowers: Flowers solitary, the stigma is divided into 4 linear lobes and is exserted. Flowers are fragrant, white fading to pink, each flower lasting one day. We measured flowers to 7.5 cm in diameter.

Leaves: Leaves are oblanceolate, irregularly toothed, hairy on top side and margins, a few hairs on the central nerve on the leaf bottom. Longest leaf was measured at 13 cm long (including petiole), and 2 cm wide.

Height: Flower stems to 10 cm in height.

Habitat: Clay hillsides and badlands in southern Saskatchewan.

Abundance: Rare, ranked as S3 (as of 2021) by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre.

Origin: Native.

Synonym: Listed in some of the field guides we use as Oenothera caespitosa (caespitosa starting with "cae" not "ce"). ITIS lists this name as an "orthographic variant (misspelling)".

When and where photographed: Photos taken May 13th, clay hills in the Buffalo Grass Eco Reserve, 200 km southeast of our home in Regina, SK.