Aug. 27, 2020

northern evening-primrose, Oenothera parviflora

Why would northern evening-primrose make me think of Clint Eastwood? Remember "Any Which Way but Loose", or "Any Which Way You Can"? No? Good for you! But those titles could describe attempts to classify this group of Oenothera. The O. biennis complex has been sorted by characters of leaf, stem, and flower into many different arrangements, with many different names. And of course the lumpers just tend toward everything being O. biennis. Even this image, and the name O. parviflora (small flower) are misleading. These petals here are a little smaller than others, but that is not a consistent trait. These days there does seem to be some consistency in sorting them by variations in pubescence and sepal structure. Doing it that way would have you finding plants like this in CT, DE, IA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH(T), PA, RI, SC, TN(S), VA, VT, WI, WV, BC, MB, NB, NF, NS, ON, PE, QC, and SK. Lenawee Co MI, 8/24/11. Willowherb family, Onagraceae.