Other names: German rampion, hog weed, King’s cure-all, and fever-plant.
Family: Onagraceae (Evening Primrose Family)
Range: Native to eastern and central North America – from Newfoundland west to Alberta, southeast to Florida, and southwest to Texas.
Native Habitat: Dry, rocky plains; disturbed areas; lake shores; open woods
Bloom Time: late spring to late summer
This is the first flower I’ll have to do a bit of a mea culpa on, and only get down to the genus. There are three versions of Oenothera on GoBotany, and I’m just not comfortable saying that these pictures are definitely of the three. (My guess is common evening-primrose. And I was at least able to rule out the fourth Oenothera that’s found in Maine.) But hey, I’m not a botanist, I’m doing this for fun, and some of these pictures were taken eight years ago, so it’s not like it’s that easy to go back. So the options are:
Oenothera biennis common evening-primrose
Oenothera parviflora small-flowered evening-primrose
Oenothera villosa hairy evening-primrose
I will also confess that this the first flower I’ve profiled so far that I had to look up having no clue what could possibly be. This is actually a little weird, as I’m familiar with evening primrose as a garden plant. I guess the wild versions are just different enough to not translate, for me at least.
The Onagraceae family also includes Fuchsia, another plant well familiar to gardeners.
The flowers are called Evening Primrose because they open very quickly (apparently fast enough to notice), in the evening. They close by noon.
The plant is a biennial and likes rocky or sandy soils.
Evening Primrose oil is used to treat eczema.
Locations in Photos:
Two Lights State Park, Cape Elizabeth, ME
Fort Williams Park, Cape Elizabeth, ME
Mackworth Island State Park, Falmouth, ME
Fort Point State Park, Stockton Springs, ME
Ultraviolet Flowers – This is a neat site – it shows what flowers would look like if we could view ultraviolet light.