Skip to main content
A picture of a Evening primrose

Evening primrose

Oenothera spp.

Also known as

Sun drops, Sun cups

Gaura lindheimeri at Comox and Jervis, Vancouver by Wendy Cutler (CC BY 2.0)

Full Sun
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

More images of Evening primrose

A close up of a white Oenothera flower
A photo of Evening primrose
A photo of Evening primrose
A photo of Evening primrose
A photo of Evening primrose

Evening primrose Overview

Oenothera is a genus containing around 157 annual, biennial and herbaceous perennial plants in the Onagraceae family. They are native to the Americas where they act as primary colonisers and are most often found in areas of disturbed soils. Some species are commonly known as Evening Primrose for their yellow flowers that open at night, they are not related to the true primrose family, Primulaceae. They are cultivated for their attractive blooms and long flowering period. They can thrive with some neglect in poor soils and full sun.

Common problems with Evening primrose

How to propagate Evening primrose


You can propagate by seed or division in autumn or spring.



Softwood cuttings in late spring.

Special features of Evening primrose

Attractive flowers

Other uses of Evening primrose

Grown for their profuse but short-lived flowers in summer. Suitable for coastal conditions. Oenothera biennis is used medicinally.

Plants for Rock Gardens

Find plants that can be grown in rock gardens.

Explore all

Garden Biennials

A biennial plant takes two years to complete it's flowering cycle but worth the wait.

Explore all


About usCareersPrivacy policy

Candide is your guide to visiting UK public gardens. Find the best gardens, buy tickets and enter with just your phone. Download the app for offline tickets, community access and more.

Terms & ConditionsCode of Conduct

© 2023 Candide

Made in Bristol