Hooker's Evening Primrose

Oenothera elata
(Oenothera hookeri)

Oenothera elata Photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed along Mesquite Wash, Maricopa Co., Arizona. June 2008.

PERENNIAL: Robust herbaceous annual or perennial apparent from late spring through autumn. One or a few erect stems generally a meter or more tall.

FLOWERS: Large lemon-yellow petals fade in the morning after remaining open through the night. Color changes to peach-orange as the flower wilts. Usual evening primrose formula of 4 sepals, 4 petals and 8 stamens. Blooms during hot months.

LEAVES: Elliptical leaves are relatively large and generously distributed along the stems. Alternate on the stem and with small teeth along the margins.

RANGE: Restricted to moist, riparian habitats in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and Mexico. Ranges across the Western United States.

FRUIT: Four sided capsule with many seeds is positioned well below the flower petals joined by a long collar, the hypanthium.

UNARMED. No spines/thorns.

Onagraceae -- Evening Primrose Family

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More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 24 Sept. 2008
updated 21 March 2016