Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Sonoran Desert Flora >>> Onagraceae >>> Oenothera primiveris

Desert Evening Primrose

Oenothera primiveris

Photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed along Mesquite Wash, Maricopa Co., Arizona. April 12, 2008.

FLOWERS: Delicate yellow with four cordate petals, four sepals and a stigma with four lobes. Eight stamens. Blooms mostly in mid spring, but only in years with adequate rainfallANNUAL: A low growing annual of spring. Most plants are less than 18 cm tall with most of the leaves growing nearly prostrate.

LEAVES: Leaves are elyptic with course but rounded teeth.

RANGE: Ranges throughout the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and Mexico especially near washes. Also found in the Mojave and Chihuahuan Deserts. Two recognized subspecies. O. p. primiveris has petals up to 25mm and the stigma about the same length as the stamens. O. p. bufonis has larger petals and a stigma that rises above the stamens (Citation: Thu Apr 24 06:52:12 2008).

FRUIT: Ridged capsules with many seeds form way below the flower at the end of a long tube, down close to base of the plant.

UNARMED. No spines/thorns.

Onagraceae -- Evening Primrose Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009