Oenothera californica

California Primrose

Plant Type: Perennial
Sun: Partial Shade, Sun
Drainage: Well-draining
Water: Naturalize, Occasional
Height X Width: 1' X 3'
Santa Clara County Local: No
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This evening primrose is one of a relatively small number of species that ranges from the interior deserts to coastal chaparral. It grows south of the transverse ranges into the Southwest and Baja. After going largely dormant in late summer, it emerges with cool, moist weather with a basal rosette of deeply lobed silver-gray leaves. As the plant matures, decumbent stems radiate from the center. The flower buds appear on decumbent branches, and face downward until they open in late spring with a large flower. Like all evening primrose, the flower opens in the evening and remains for a single night, then begins to decline in the morning. Fortunately, the flowers will appear on successive nights for several weeks. The dramatic flowers open with paper white petals with an occasional pink blush. This desert native should be given well-draining soil and generous sun. One might plant it on the south side of a large boulder to provide additional heat and reflected sunlight.


Deer Resistant: No
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: No
Evergreen or Deciduous: Deciduous