Hairy evening primrose is an erect, somewhat
stoutly-stemmed herbacious biennial to short-lived perennial growing
to 7' tall. The stem is reddish and covered with soft, short hairs.
The lower leaves are from 2" to 8" long, oblanceolate,
wavy-margined, and sessile to subsessile. The cauline leaves are
oblanceolate to elliptic, generally dentate to subentire. The
flowers are large and showy, bright creamy yellow, with reflexed greenish
sepals and four broadly obovate petals. There are eight stamens
and a stigma with four slightly fleshy lobes. The fruit is a ±
straight, tapering capsule containing irregularly pitted seeds. This
evening primrose has 2 or 3 subspecies depending on whether you consult
Munz or Jepson, and may be seen up to 9000' in elevation, and this subspecies
inhabits mostly moist inland places in many parts of California, blooming
from June to September. It is fairly easy to differentiate it
from its close relative, ssp. hookeri, by the absence of the
red blister-like hair bases, a picture of which is shown on the page
for that taxon here. These
pictures were taken in the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve near San Diego.
Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Oenothera
Pronunciation: ee-no-THEER-a eh-LAY-ta her-soo-TI-si-ma.
Click here for Botanical