tufted evening primrose, more...
[Oenothera caespitosa Nutt., more]
Oenothera caespitosa is very common perennial in dry lower to middle elevation plains and hillsides. It has large white petals that turn pink with age. The anthers are large and the stigma stands well above them and is 4 parted. The leaves are crenate to lobed and gray green. The plants are acaulescent (have no stem.) Oenothera albicaulis is a very similar acaulescent plant with similar flowers, but it is an annual.
Springer et al. 2009, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Taprooted perennial, acaulescent or nearly so, to 30 cm; becoming loosely colonial by spreading roots emerging from stout taproot; herbage mostly peuberulent or villous-hirsute especially on leaf margins, occasionally glabrous. Leaves: Long petiole, lanceolate to elliptic, crowded on the very short stem and forming a basal cluster, mostly 3-30 cm long, including petiole, 0.5-4 cm wide, variously entire to often dentate or raggedly pinnatifid. Flowers: Born singly in axils, sessile or on a stout pedicel up to 3 cm long, mostly erect in bud, self-incompatible, nectariferous and sweet scented, adapted to pollination by hawkmoths, ephemeral, opening near or shortly after sunset and wilting the next day; 4 large sepals, mostly 2-4.5 cm long, reflexed at anthesis; 4 petals white, turning pink or pinkish to rose-purple in age or in drying, mostly 2-5 cm long. Fruits: Capsule more or less erect and forming clumps at the base of the plant, lance-ovoid or elliptic-ovoid to sub-cylindric, mostly 2.5-5 cm long and up to 1 cm thick; numerous seeds. Ecology: Found in a wide range of habitats; 3,000-7,500 ft (914-2286 m); flowers April-September. Distribution: Most of western US, TX west to CA and north to WA; also in northeastern US. Notes: This plant is stemless for the most part above the ground, all of the leaves come from the base in bunches (tufted) are basal and long petioled, elliptic, toothed, margins densely pubescent, flowers large and white, the long hypanthium tube going to the base of the leaves after which, hard, sessile fruits form. Numerous subspecies found in the region, probably a good plant to collect. Ethnobotany: Used for healing, for ceremonies, as a gynecological aid, and for sores. Etymology: Oenothera is from Greek oinos, wine and thera, to imbibe, caespitosa means having a densely clumped, tufted or cushion-like growth form. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015