Oenothera rosea (Rose Evening Primrose)

Scientific Name

Oenothera rosea L'Hér. ex Aiton

Common Names

Rose Evening Primrose, Rosy Evening Primrose, Pink Evening Primrose, Rose of Mexico


Gaura epilobia, Godetia heucki, Hartmannia affinis, Hartmannia gauroides, Hartmannia rosea, Hartmannia virgata, Oenothera psychrophila, Oenothera purpurea, Oenothera rubra, Oenothera virgata, Xylopleurum roseum

Scientific Classification

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


Color: Rose to rose-purple,
Bloom Time: Beginning of spring until the first frost


Oenothera rosea is a well-branched perennial herb with stems that grow up to 16 inches (40 cm) tall. The leaves are nearly entire or somewhat cut, elliptic or rarely narrowly ovate, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide. The leaf stalk is up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long. The flowers are rose to rose-purple, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter, and open near sunrise.

Oenothera rosea (Rose Evening Primrose)
Photo via sc-familiarflowers2.hatenablog.com


USDA hardiness zone 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C)  to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Oenothera plants can be propagated by dividing established clumps between spring and 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 stop flowering briefly. Powdery mildew sometimes appears in humid conditions. See more at: How to Grow and Care for Oenothera.


Oenothera rosea is native to northern Mexico and Texas.


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