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Oenothera fruticosa (Sundrops)
Species Distribution Map: Click to enlarge
Map Color Key © 2013 BONAP

Oenothera fruticosa


A tough and reliable perennial, well-suited to hot dry sites. The stems of Oenothera fruticosa are thin, hairy, and reddish with similar leaves. The buds begin as red but open into beautiful bright yellow flowers in early summer. Easy, dependable, a strong grower that can spread a bit, particularly in sandy soils. Great color for a meadow! Native to dry soil, open fields, and open woods from Nova Scotia to Florida.

Oenothera fruticosa LP50 - 50 per flat $60.38
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18-24 Inches


2 Feet


12 Inches

Bloom Color


USDA Hardiness Zone 4-9

Sundrops Interesting Notes

Narrowleaf evening-primrose is a delightful spreading herbaceous perennial up to 2’ tall and 3’ wide that brings a long season of flower color to the garden. Unlike most of its relatives, this species flowers during the day, producing bright yellow 2” diameter flowers in profusion. With its informal habit, narrowleaf evening-primrose makes an excellent companion on the border edge or meadow. It prefers well-drained soils, is pH adaptable, and performs best in full sun. Narrowleaf evening-primrose combines well with Coreopsis majorLiatris microcephalaTradescantia hirsuticaulisSolidago spp., Packera tomentosa, and Helianthus porteri. - Mt. Cuba Center

Oenothera comes from the Greek "Oïnos", wine and "ther", wild animal : for the Ancients, it designated a plant the roots of which, soaked in wine, would have enabled to tame wild beasts. According to the following German saying of the 18th century : "a pound of the root of evening primrose gives more strength than a quintal of beef", the root of evening primrose was thought to be very nutritive. The Amerindians used it differently : they used it to rub their moccasins before hunting, to mask their smell and get closer to the animals. One of the magic powers of evening primrose was actually to make hunters lucky.

Oenothera fruticosa Growing and Maintenance Tips

O. fruticosa performs best in full sun to light shade in light and sandy soil. A vigorous sprawling clump habit. Cut back foliage to promote a new flush of growth, to prolong flowering season. Propagate by division, softwood cuttings or seed in early summer. A wonderful addition to borders and perennial beds.

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Full Sun
Full Sun
Drought Tolerant
Drought Tolerant
Salt Tolerance
Salt Tolerance

Additional Information

Season of Interest (Flowering)
Late Spring / Early Summer
Soil Moisture Needs
Plug Type
Landscape Plug™
Propagation Type
Open pollinated
Native to North America
Erosion Control
Dry Sun