Feb. 9, 2017

biennial beeblossom, Oenothera gaura

The first time I heard a professional botanist pronounce Oenothera, I didn't have a clue what he was talking about. There's an old song that goes, "Ooh eeh ooh ah ah, ting tang walla walla bing bang". If you substitute "ooh eeh no ther a", you've got it. I had to admit it was all Greek to me. Today the genus Oenothera takes its lumps. Yesterday an evening-primrose split up. Now beeblossom gets lumped in. The genus Gaura has long been separate. But modern methods have shown how closely beeblossoms are related to Oenothera. So now we have Oenothera gaura instead of Gaura biennis. These inch wide flowers grow in low open areas and borders in AL, CT, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, MI, MN, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, VA, WI, WV, ON, and QC. Ives Fen Preserve, Lenawee Co MI, 8/19/12