Dec. 28, 2021

Oenothera biennis complex

Here you see one of the evening-primroses in the Oenothera biennis complex. This group of plants has been exhaustively studied, so by now they have it all figured out. The eight species are separated by characters of villosity, glandularity, and the structure of those little lobes you can see at the ends of the buds. OK, so if we know so much now, how come FNA says Oenothera nutans grows in Michigan, and Michigan Flora specifically says no? Because we're still studying and learning and searching for that clear cut specimen from Michigan that gives us an indisputable answer. Watch for ones that look like O. biennis but have completely glabrous inflorescences and larger petals.