Narrow-Leaved Sundrops

Narrow-leaved_Sundrops_jpgThe Onagraceae family commonly called the Evening-Primrose family consists of 24 genera and 650 species of herbs, shrubs and a few trees; found mainly in temperate and subtropical regions.  Many family members are cultivated as ornamentals, including Evening Primroses and Fuchsias. The genus Oenothera either means “wine-scenting” since its roots were used for that purpose or “donkey-chase” from onos, “donkey” and thera, “chase, hunting”, or, “ass-catcher” or “wine-imbibing” from oinos “wine” and thera “imbibing”. Narrow-Leaved Sundrops are often found in meadows, fields and open woods, often in disturbed habitats. Another plant in this genus, Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis), has medicinal uses.  The oils from the flowers, leaves and stems have astringent and sedative properties.  Taken internally, preparations have been used to treat cough, digestive problems and asthma.  Poultices have been applied to treat rheumatoid arthritis, eczema and other itchy skin conditions.

OtherCommonName:

Southern Sundrops

ScientificName:

Oenothera fruticosa

Community:

Edge

PlantStatus:

Native

LifeSpan:

Perennial

PlantHeight:

12 to 40 inches

FruitingTime:

Early July to late September

Distribution:

Massachusetts to Florida ~ Statewide in New Jersey

FloweringTime:

Early June to August

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Stems erect ascending or diffusely clustered ~ Leaves narrowly elliptic to oval, 2 ½ inches long, hairy ~ Flowers diurnal (open during the day), several in a compact inflorescence ~ Fruit an elongated capsule ~ Fibrous root