Evening Primrose - Oenothera biennis

Evening Primrose

Oenothera biennis

Evening primrose seeds are more of an important subject due to their exceptional nutritional content and highly prized medicinal benefits. These seeds yield evening primrose oil which serves as a rich source of Omega-6 fatty acids.

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names: Common evening primrose , Fever plant, Hogweed, Sun drop, Evening star
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: No
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Flowers and Seeds
  • Side Effects:
Use left and right arrows to navigate between tabs. Plants Informations

About Evening Primrose

Evening primrose is an upright biennial flowering plant that has tremendously naturalized in Canada and almost all parts of the US (excluding Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming). It is a typical treat for the eyes all across Missouri state in the fields, thickets, prairies, and along the roadsides. 

It can grow up to a good height of 5 ft with lanceolate leaves that appear as a compact rosette during the first year of primrose’s growth and then in a spiral fashion in its second year. The plant produces hermaphrodite flowers that open every evening and continue to stay in bloom until the next noon. This evening blooming venture has garnered some peculiar attention, hence called evening primrose. These flowers emerge on a tall spiky stem with vibrantly yellow petals, calling all the hungry pollinators for a good deed. 

Evening primrose seeds are more of an important subject due to their exceptional nutritional content and highly prized medicinal benefits. These seeds yield evening primrose oil which serves as a rich source of Omega-6 fatty acids. It is widely used to support the treatment of atopic dermatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, mastalgia (breast pain), premenstrual symptoms, menopausal symptoms, labor induction (or augmentation), and cervical ripening.

Growing

It is best to start evening primrose with seeds during late fall as this gives the plant a good set of conditions to thrive quickly and bloom in summer. The indoor setting doesn’t much favor its growth and they hardly last for about six months. Pick a good spot that receives plenty of unfiltered sunlight for at least 6 to 8 years. It particularly flourishes in well-drained soil that retains some percentage of moisture to keep the roots alive but rocky or sandy soil have also proven to be the successful candidates for growth purpose. 

Supply your evening primrose with an adequate amount of water, especially in areas with hot climates. 

Evening Primrose is a biennial plant with a short yet very well-established life cycle. Its seeds can take anywhere from 5 to 30 days to germinate. During its first year of growth, it produces basal leaves and the following year, it becomes mature enough to have flowers that give seeds.

Its blooming phase begins during summer and continues till fall. For some regions, it might be just one season, either summer or fall. Since the flowers bloom during the evening and stay in the same state till the following noon, they invite nocturnal (nighttime) pollinators to do the job of pollination. The flowers wither off post-fertilization to produce seeds that help in giving birth to a new plant.

 

Harvesting

Evening Primrose flowers can be harvested in October when they feel a little crisp to the touch with seeds inside.

Evening primrose bark, leaves, flowers, and seeds are harvested for medicinal purposes. Its leaves and flowers can be scissored down while the bark can be sliced with a sharp knife. For its seeds, dried flowers are jerked or shaken in a paper bag to collect the seeds. 

Evening primrose seeds are dried for around six weeks at room temperature, away from direct sunlight, and then can be stored for longer periods in an airtight container.

Usage

Evening Primrose is a feisty weed that has invaded our lives to keep our health in check. It has got plenty of benefits due to which it is transformed into various medicinal preparations.

  • Tincture: Dried evening primrose leaves, flowers, and seeds are used for maceration to yield a highly concentrated tincture.
  • Tea: Fresh or dried evening primrose leaves are steeped in hot water for a few minutes to make tea.
  • Salve: Evening primrose oil is used in the preparation of a salve.
  • Syrup: Evening primrose leaves or flowers can be stirred in hot sugar solution to make a syrup.
  • Infused oil: Dried evening primrose flowers can be infused with sunflower oil, olive oil, or grapeseed oil on a sunny windowsill in a mason jar for 2 to 3 weeks to make a topical massaging oil.