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OENOTHERA tetraptera

Image of Oenothera tetraptera

Family

Onagraceae

Botanical Name

OENOTHERA tetraptera

Plant Common Name

White Evening Primrose

General Description

Fourwing evening primrose is named for the winged fruits that follow the color-changing flowers in spring and summer. A short-lived tender perennial or annual from Texas and most of Mexico, it has now naturalized widely and is often deemed a weed in many subtropical areas.

The bright green leaves are lance-shaped with a point and have uneven edges with rounded sinuses. They, as well as the stems, may or may not be covered in tiny white hairs. In warm temperatures, four-petalled white flowers arise from the stem among the leaves and near stem ends. As the flowers age they become more and more pink and eventually pink-violet when the petals wilt and shrivel. Pollinated by moths, the ensuing fruits are of interest as they are small, brown, hairy, and shaped like a club with four ridges. These seeds will germinate nearby the mother plant, sometimes to the point of weediness.

Grow fourwing evening primrose in average, well-drained soils in full to partial sun. It can be interplanted among rock garden plants or allowed to naturalize with meadow grasses, or grow it in the foreground of a mixed border.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 9

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 12

  • Plant Type

    Annual

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    8"-16" / 20.3cm - 40.6cm

  • Width

    10"-20" / 25.4cm - 50.8cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    North America, United States, Texas, Mexico

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Spreading

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Pink, Light Pink, Rose

  • Fruit Color

    Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Groundcover, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes