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Oenothera(ēnəthĭr`ə): see evening primroseevening primrose,
common name for the Onagraceae, a family of plants of worldwide distribution, most species of which grow as herbs in the temperate New World, and specifically for members of the genus Oenothera.
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(evening primrose), a genus of plants of the family Onagraceae. The plants are usually herbs with alternate leaves. The flowers are four-parted, and the fruit is a capsule. There are about 200 American species, distributed primarily in temperate regions. Many species were imported to Eurasia and other continents. The USSR has five species, including the common evening primrose (O. biennis) and O. odorata. Some species are used for genetic research. H. de Vries developed his mutation theory on the basis of tests with O. lamarckiana (also known as O. erythrosepala). Many species and hybrids of Oenothera are ornamentals. Sometimes the genus is divided into several independent genera. For example, O. muricata and O. biennis, both of which are found in the USSR, are sometimes placed in the genus Onagra.