evening 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. Species of Oenothera, Epilobium, and Godetia, among others, are native to America; some are cultivated. Evening primroses (species of Oenothera and some other similar species) range from North America to Patagonia. Most are yellow, evening-flowering annuals or biennials. The common evening primrose (O. biennis) is naturalized in the Old World, where the roots are sometimes used for food. The hybrid O. lamarckiana was used by Hugo de Vries in formulating his mutation theory of heredity. Godetia, abundant in California, includes farewell-to-spring, or summer's-darling (G. amoena). The branching, bushy great willow herb (E. angustifolium) is a widespread fireweed and a good bee plant. Most species of the genus Fuchsia are tropical American shrubs cultivated elsewhere as ornamentals for their pendulous, brilliant red to purple and white flowers. Most garden fuchsias are hybrids. The evening primrose family is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Myrtales.
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4-5 feet tall (1.5m) The yellow 4-petal flowers open at night, close during the day and grow on branches off the main stem. Soft hairy stem, alternating leaves, High in Omega essential fatty acids (especially the oil made from the seeds), and GLA, a fatty acid the body doesn’t produce, that helps prevent hardening of the arteries, heart disease, eczema, cirrhosis of the liver, multiple sclerosis, and high blood pressure. Evening Primrose is used to lower cholesterol, help sex hormones, both estrogen and testosterone, PMS, menopause, uterine muscles, nervous system, metabolism, diabetes, epilepsy, weight loss, endometriosis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, cough, migraines, relieve pain and inflammation, breast problems, bowel pains, hemorrhoids, prostate issues and gastro-intestinal disorders. Use in raw stir fry, casserole dishes. The whole plant is edible. Harvest seed pods before they flower, use like ochra. Seed pods are full of lots of tiny seeds. Root tea can be applied to hemorrhoids. The bark and the leaves are astringent and sedative.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz
any onagraceous plant of the genus Oenothera, native to North America but widely cultivated and naturalized, typically having yellow flowers that open in the evening
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005