Oenothera Berlandieri: Mexican Evening Primrose

There is a side yard on Oak Street in Bisbee blanketed with this pinkish/purplish flower which has a pale yellow to white center. You too have probably seen this flower growing in your neighborhood since it is very popular in Cochise County.

The four petals of this flower appear to be fragile, however, this plant has the ability to adapt to less than ideal conditions and keeps producing an abundance of blossoms. It tolerates the sun, is very hardy, and does well in our area. This Mexican Evening Primrose is low growing, about a foot high, with narrow leaves which give the stems a somewhat long appearance. It is perennial.

When researching reference material for this article, I found little information which actually defined this specific plant. There are several varieties in this family, mostly white and yellow, and some found naturally in our Southwest Desert, Oenothera deltoides.

Once established, it is drought-tolerant and thrives with little or no care - what more could you wish for in a plant perfect for the Desert in which we live!

Barbara Kishbaugh
July, 1992