Oenothera kunthiana (Spach) Munz

Oenothera kunthiana plant

Family - Onagraceae

Stems - To 50cm tall but reclining or prostrate in habit, with appressed hairiness in upper portions, glabrescent to sparsely hairy below.

Leaves - Alternate, linear, narrowly-oblong to oblong. Can be very narrow in upper portions of stems but wider below.

Inflorescence - Solitary flower from leaf axils but usually in a spikelike fashion near end of stem.

Flowers - Corolla white, petals 4, 2-3.5 cm long, distinct. Ovary inferior. Stigma 4 parted. Calyx tube 1-2cm long.

Oenothera kunthiana flower

Fruit - Capsule +/- 4mm thick, slightly winged with wings 1mm or so broad. Many seeded.

Flowering - May - June.

Habitat - Prairies, railroads, open woods.

Origin - Native to Southwest U.S., introduced into Missouri.

Other info. - This plant grew from a seed mixture which was sown to restore a natural prairie in Kansas City. I have not seen it elsewhere outside of cultivation.

Photograph taken at Schumaker Park, 6-28-99, and in Niagra Falls, Canada, 6-18-00.