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Oenothera grandis

(Largeflower Eveningprimrose)


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Common Names

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Common Names in English:

Largeflower Eveningprimrose, Showy Evening-Primrose, Showy Eveningprimrose


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Family Onagraceae

Annual or perennial herbs, or shrubs , rarely trees to 30 m tall, often with epidermal oil cells , usually with internal phloem . Leaves simple , spirally arranged , opposite, or occasionally whorled , entire or toothed to pinnatifid ; stipules present and usually caducous , or absent. Flowers perfect and hermaphroditic or occasionally unisexual , actinomorphic or zygomorphic, (2-) 4(-7) -merous, axillary , in leafy spikes or racemes or solitary, or occasionally in panicles, all but Ludwigia with distinct floral tube , nectariferous within. Sepals green or colored , valvate . Petals as many as sepals or rarely absent, variously colored, imbricate or convolute and occasionally clawed. Stamens as many as sepals in one series or 2 × as many as sepals in 2 series [in Lopezia Cavanilles reduced to 2 or 1 plus 1 sterile staminode]; anthers versatile or basifixed , dithecal , sometimes cross-partitioned, opening by longitudinal slits; pollen grains almost always united by viscin threads, shed as monads , tetrads , or polyads . Ovary inferior, with as many carpels and locules as sepals, septa sometimes thin or absent at maturity; placentation axile or parietal , ovules 1 to many per locule, in 1 or several rows or clustered, anatropous , bitegmic; style 1; stigma with as many lobes as sepals or clavate to globose . Fruit a loculicidal capsule or indehiscent nut or berry. Seeds small, smooth or variously sculptured , sometimes with a coma [or wing ], with straight oily embryo, endosperm lacking.

Seventeen genera and ca. 650 species: widespread in temperate and subtropical areas, but best represented in W North America; six genera (two introduced ), 64 species (11 endemic, 11 introduced), and five natural hybrids (two endemic) in China.

Onagraceae are a well-defined, monophyletic family in the order Myrtales, with a sister relationship to Lythraceae. Within the order Myrtales, the Onagraceae are distinguished by a number of features including (1) a distinctive 4-nucleate embryo sac; (2) abundant raphides in vegetative cells ; (3) paracrystalline beaded pollen ektexine; and (4) pollen with viscin threads.

Some species of Oenothera are grown for the oil in their seeds, which contains gamma linolenic acid (GLA), used for medicinal purposes. Several species of Onagraceae also are cultivated in China for their horticultural value, including species of Fuchsia Linnaeus (generally distinguished by having large, tubular , red or orange flowers and fleshy berries ) and Clarkia Pursh (distinguished by having stigmas with commissural lobes with dry, unicellular papillae, and dry, elongate capsules similar to those of Epilobium but lacking comas on the seeds) . The most commonly cultivated Fuchsia is F. ×hybrida Hort. and the related F. magellanica Lamarck in F. sect. Quelusia (Vandelli) Candolle from South America; F. triphylla Linnaeus, in F. sect. Fuchsia, from Hispaniola, is known from only one gathering in Fujian. Similarly, Clarkia amoena (Lehmann) A. Nelson & J. F. Macbride is widely cultivated in China, whereas C. pulchella Pursh is known from only one gathering in Xizang; both species are native to W North America. There are no naturalized species of either Clarkia or Fuchsia in China.[1]

Genus Oenothera

Annual , biennial or perennial herbs, caulescent or acaulescent , with a taproot or fibrous roots , occasionally with rhizomes or shoots arising from spreading lateral roots . Leaves alternate or in a basal rosette that often is absent in mature plants , entire, toothed to pinnatifid ; stipules absent. Flowers perfect , actinomorphic , in axils of upper leaves, when numerous forming terminal leafy spikes, racemes , or corymbs, opening near sunset or near sunrise. Floral tube usually well developed, cylindric and somewhat flared near mouth , deciduous soon after anthesis . Sepals 4, green or yellowish, often tinged or striped red or purple. Petals 4, yellow, purple, pink, or white. Stamens 8; anthers versatile; pollen shed singly. Ovary with 4 locules; ovules numerous; stigma divided into 4 linear lobes , receptive all around, and subtended by a ± conspicuous ringlike indusium in early development, but often obscured when receptive. Fruit a dehiscent capsule [rarely indehiscent outside of China], straight or curved , terete to 4-angled or winged , sessile, occasionally pedicellate , or basal portion sterile and stipelike. Seeds numerous, in 1 or 2(or 3) rows or in clusters in each of 4 locules. 2n = 14, 28, 42, 56.

One hundred and twenty-one species: open, often disturbed habitats in temperate to subtropical areas of North, Central, and South America, with the center of diversity in SW North America; ten species (all naturalized within the past 200 years) in China.

Oenothera is currently divided into 15 sections , only three of which are represented in China. An evolutionary phenomenon that has occurred repeatedly in Oenothera (52 species) and several other genera of tribe Onagreae is permanent translocation heterozygosity , a peculiar, specialized genetic system based on heterozygosity for successive chromosomal translocations and manifested by autogamy and formation of a ring of 14 chromosomes at meiotic metaphase I (for reviews see Cleland, Oenothera Cytogenetics and Evolution. 1972; Holsinger and Ellstrand, Amer. Naturalist 124: 48-71. 1984). Permanent translocation heterozygote individuals breed true for their series of reciprocal translocations and are maintained by either balanced lethals or selective fertilization. These plants are essentially clonal. Many species of Oenothera that have become naturalized outside their natural range are permanent translocation heterozygotes, as noted in their descriptions .[2]

Physical Description

Habit: Forb/herb


Typically found at an altitude of 0 to 1,341 meters (0 to 4,400 feet).[3]


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Duration: Annual


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Oenothera laciniata var. grandiflora (S. Wats.) B. L. Robins. • Raimannia grandis (Britt.) Rose


Name Status: Accepted Name .

Last scrutiny: 15-Mar-2000

Similar Species

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Members of the genus Oenothera

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 160 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus. Here are just 100 of them:

O. acaulis (Dandelion-Leaved Sundrop) · O. acaulis 'Aurea' (Dandelion-Leaved Sundrop) · O. acutissima (Flaming Gorge Evening-Primrose) · O. affinis (Longflower Evening-Primrose) · O. albicaulis (Halfshrub Sundrop) · O. argillicola (Shale-Barren Evening-Primrose) · O. berlandieri 'Siskiyou Pink' (Siskiyou Pink Oenothera) · O. biennis (Common Evening Primrose) · O. biennis biennis (Evening Primrose (Common)) · O. biennis var. cantabrigiana (Common Evening Primrose) · O. brachycarpa (Short-Fruit Evening Primrose) · O. caespitosa (Fragrant Evening Primrose) · O. caespitosa caespitosa (Tufted Evening-Primrose) · O. caespitosa macroglottis (Tufted Evening-Primrose) · O. caespitosa marginata (Large White Desert Primrose) · O. caespitosa navajoensis (Tufted Evening-Primrose) · O. californica (California Evening Primrose) · O. californica arizonica (California Evening-Primrose) · O. californica avita (California Evening-Primrose) · O. californica californica (California Evening-Primrose) · O. californica eurekensis (Eureka Dunes Evening-Primrose) · O. californica subsp. arizonica (California Evening-Primrose) · O. californica subsp. avita (California Evening-Primrose) · O. californica subsp. eurekensis (Eurela Dunes Evening-Primrose) · O. canescens (Beakpod Evening Primrose) · O. cavernae (Cave Evening-Primrose) · O. cespitosa (Tufted Evening Primrose) · O. cespitosa marginata (Tufted Eveningprimrose) · O. cespitosa navajoensis (Tufted Evening-Primrose) · O. clelandii (Cleland's Evening-Primrose) · O. cordata (Heartleaf Evening-Primrose) · O. coronopifolia (Comb-Like Evening-Primrose) · O. coryi (El Paso Evening-Primrose) · O. cuprea (Evening Primrose) · O. curtissii (Curtiss' Evening-Primrose) · O. deltoides cognata (Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose) · O. deltoides cognata var. cognata (Antioch Dunes Evening-Primrose) · O. deltoides howellii (Annual Evening-Primrose) · O. deltoides piperi (Antioch Dunes Evening-Primrose) · O. deltoides piperi var. piperi (Antioch Dunes Evening-Primrose) · O. deltoides subsp. ambigua (Birdcage Evening-Primrose) · O. deltoides subsp. cognata (Birdcage Evening-Primrose) · O. deltoides subsp. howellii (Antioch Dunes Evening-Primrose) · O. deltoides subsp. piperi (Piper's Evening-Primrose) · O. drummondii (Beach Evening Primrose) · O. elata (Evening-Primrose) · O. elata hirsutissima (Hooker's Evening Primrose) · O. elata hookeri (Hooker's Evening Primrose) · O. elata subsp. hirsutissima (Hooker's Evening-Primrose) · O. elata subsp. hookeri (Hooker's Evening-Primrose) · O. engelmannii (Engelmann Evening-Primrose) · O. falfurriae (Royal Evening-Primrose) · O. flava (Long-Tube Evening Primrose) · O. flava flava (Yellow Evening Primrose) · O. flava taraxacoides (Dandelion Evening-Primrose) · O. flava subsp. taraxacoides (Yellow Evening-Primrose) · oenothera fremontii 'Lemon Silver' (Lemon Silver Evening Primrose) · O. fruticosa (Evening Primrose) · O. fruticosa fruticosa (Narrowleaf Evening-Primrose) · O. fruticosa f. diversifolia (Narrow-Leaf Evening-Primrose) · O. fruticosa glauca (Narrowleaf Evening-Primrose) · O. fruticosa glauca 'Fireworks' (Fireworks Common Sundrops) · O. fruticosa var. differta (Narrow-Leaf Evening-Primrose) · O. fruticosa var. glauca (Narrow-Leaf Evening-Primrose) · O. fruticosa var. hirsuta (Narrow-Leaf Evening-Primrose) · O. fruticosa subsp. glauca (Narrowleaf Evening-Primrose) · O. fruticosa glauca 'Spring Gold' (Narrow-Leaf Evening Primrose) · O. fruticosa glauca 'Summer Solstice' (Narrow-Leaf Evening Primrose) · O. fruticosa 'Youngii' (Narrow-Leaf Evening Primrose) · O. gaura (Biennial Bee Blossom) · O. glazioviana (Large-Flowered Evening Primrose) · O. glazioviana 'Tina James' (Evening Primrose) · O. grandiflora (Large-Flowered Evening-Primrose) · O. grandis (Largeflower Eveningprimrose) · O. harringtonii (Arkansas Valley Evening Primrose) · O. havardii (Havard's Evening Primrose) · O. heterophylla (Largeflower Eveningprimrose) · O. heterophylla heterophylla (Largeflower Eveningprimrose) · O. heterophylla orientalis (Largeflower Eveningprimrose) · O. heterophylla subsp. orientalis (Oriental Evening-Primrose) · O. howardii (Howard's Evening-Primrose) · O. humifusa (Sea-Beach Evening-Primrose) · O. jamesii (James Eveningprimrose) · O. kleinii (Wolf Creek Evening-Primrose) · O. kunthiana (Kunth's Evening Primrose) · O. kunthiana 'Glowing Magenta' (Kunths Evening Primrose) · O. laciniata (Cut-Leaf Evening Primrose) · O. lamarckiana (Evening Primrose) · O. latifolia (Mountain Evening-Primrose) · O. linifolia (Thread-Leaf Sundrops) · O. longissima (Long-Stem Evening-Primrose) · O. macrocarpa (Bigfruit Evening Primrose) · O. macrocarpa fremontii (Bigfruit Eveningprimrose) · O. macrocarpa incana (Bigfruit Evening-Primrose) · O. macrocarpa macrocarpa (Bigfruit Eveningprimrose) · O. macrocarpa oklahomensis (Oklahoma Evening-Primrose) · O. macrocarpa 'Comanche Campfire' (Bigfruit Evening Primrose) · O. macrocarpa subsp. fremontii (Fremont's Evening-Primrose) · O. macrocarpa subsp. incana (Bigfruit Evening-Primrose) · O. macrocarpa incana 'Silver Blade' (Evening Primrose)

More Info

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Further Reading

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Data Sources

Accessed through GBIF Data Portal November 22, 2007:



  1. Jiarui Chen, Peter C. Hoch, Peter H. Raven, David E. Boufford & Warren L. Wagner "Onagraceae". in Flora of China Vol. 13 Page 274, 290, 400. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
  2. Jiarui Chen, Peter C. Hoch & Warren L. Wagner "Oenothera". in Flora of China Vol. 13 Page 400, 423, 427. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
  3. Mean = 422.170 meters (1,385.072 feet), Standard Deviation = 320.950 based on 151 observations. Altitude information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]
Last Revised: 2015-01-30