Common evening primrose or Evening star

Oenothera biennis

preview hoep 00018 oenothera biennis gewoehnliche nachtkerzeThe Common evening primrose or Evening star frequently grows along waysides, sunny embankments and on fallow land. The name of this two-year plant emphasizes the special flowering behavior: The individual blossoms, which appear in June, open only during late afternoon or in the dusk. It happens at an astonishing rate within a few minutes. During the night these blooms remain luring far open to attract nocturnal butterflies. They wither usually during the first hours of the following day, while the next flower buds prepare already for blossoming.

The Common evening primrose can be regarded also as an old agricultural crop. Every part of the plant is edible, and because its roots turn red when cooked, it is also called “Schinkenwurz” in the vernacular. Another use finds the plant in the production of certain cosmetics.