Oenothera albicaulis (Whitest Evening Primrose)

Scientific Name

Oenothera albicaulis Pursh

Common Names

Whitest Evening Primrose, White-stem Evening Primrose, Whitish Evening Primrose, Prairie Evening Primrose


Anogra albicaulis, Oenothera ctenophylla

Scientific Classification

Family: Onagraceae
Subfamily: Onagroideae
Tribe: Onagreae
Genus: Oenothera


Color: White
Bloom Time:  Mid spring until the early fall


Oenothera albicaulis is an annual plant with an erect stem that grows up to 1.5 feet (45 cm) tall. Basal leaves are up to 2 inches (5 cm) long and can be either entire and oblanceolate or pinnatifid, even on the same plant. Flowers are with four petals, white, and become pink with age.

Oenothera albicaulis (Whitest Evening Primrose)
Photo via wildflowerquest.blogspot.com


It is grown as an annual plant, so it has no USDA hardiness zone.

How to Grow and Care

Oenothera plants can be propagated by dividing established clumps in spring or fall. Softwood cuttings may be struck in late spring. Easy to grow Oenothera seeds can be sown directly in the garden in late summer, early fall, or planted early in the spring.

Just cover the small seeds, and germinate at 65 to 70 °F (18 to 21 °C). Seeds require darkness to break dormancy. Space plants 5 to 9 inches (13 to 23 cm) apart. Plant in light, well-drained soil with a pH of around 5.5 to 7.0. Sandy soil works well for this plant.

Oenothera is tolerant of dry and is a good candidate for xeriscaping. In really fertile soil, the foliage can be robust, but fewer flowers form. Top dress with fully composted manure in the spring. Provide irrigation during long hot spells, and cut the plants back by a third after flowering to keep them looking neat. Hot summer weather may cause the plants to briefly stop flowering. Powdery mildew sometimes appears in humid conditions. See more at: How to Grow and Care for Oenothera.


Oenothera albicaulis is native to North America (the United States and Mexico).


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