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Lindsay's Flora Blog - 31st August

Posted: Sunday 30th August 2020 by trustadmin

Large-flowered Evening-primrose Oenothera glazioviana

This medium to tall, very showy plant, seems to be everywhere at the moment, from waste places to verge sides. The large 4-petalled yellow flowers on leafy spikes, the stems with red based hairs, are on show from June to September; however, this is actually a nocturnal plant so the flowers often look limp during the day only fully opening their petals in the evening so that the plant can be pollinated by the moths (particularly hawkmoths) and bees that are attracted to their faint perfume, before closing again in the morning.

The fruit is a lance-shaped capsule and finches in particular are apparently partial to its seeds through which it spreads prolifically.

The plant is naturalized, not native, probably originating in North America, and was introduced to the UK as a garden plant in the 17th century, and is a member of the Willow Herb family.  We also get Fragrant Evening-primrose here; however it is not as common.

Evening-primroses are also known for their medicinal properties - evening primrose oil is often used as a dietary supplement to treat a variety of conditions.

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