Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Senior Horticultural Interpreter.
One of the beds in our Wild Garden is planted deliberately with low-growing annuals and perennials in order to provide a pleasing contrast to the surrounding plantings, most of which are considerably loftier.
Short but spreading, the Missouri evening primrose (Oenothera macrocarpa) is a low-grower that adds to the tapestry of colorful blooms in this meadow-like bed.
Each large, yellow flower opens towards evening and lasts only until the next morning but a succession of buds keeps the display going for a period of many weeks.
A dry spell might cause a temporary intermission, but a good summer rain can start up another cycle.
There are more than 100 species of evening primrose (Oenothera spp.), all originating in the Americas. The Missouri evening primrose is native to Mexico and south-central US.