Oenothera laciniata

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Oenothera laciniata
Oeno laci.jpg
Photo by Rebekah D. Wallace, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Myrtales
Family: Onagraceae
Genus: Oenothera
Species: O. laciniata
Binomial name
Oenothera laciniata
Oeno laci dist.jpg
Natural range of Oenothera laciniata from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: Cutleaf evening-primrose

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Oenothera laciniata var. laciniata; Raimannia laciniata (Hill) Rose; O. laciniata ssp. laciniata


"Usually pubescent, branched biennials or perennials. Leaves alternate, the upper reduced, sessile or subsessile, the lower frequently petiolate. Inflorescent terminal, flowers solitary from axils of bracts or reduced upper leaves. Calyx tube (hypanthium above ovary or capsule) prolonged; lobes (sepals) 4, acute. Petals 4, yellow, pink, or white, usually widely obcordate. Stamens 8, exserted; stigmas 4. Capsules oblong to obovoid or clavate; seeds numerous, not comose." [1]

"Pubescent biennial, usually with decumbent, basal braches, stems to 7.5 dm long. Leaves oblanceolate to elliptic, pubescent to glabrate, acute, irregularly lobed or pinnatifid, repand or almost entire, base attenuate; petioles absent or to 3 cm long on basal leaves. Calyx tube 2-2.5 cm long, lobes 6-12 mm long; petals yellow to reddish, 8-25 mm long; anthers 3-6 mm long. Capsules pubescent, cylindric, usually slightly arcuate, 2.5-4 cm long, 3-4 mm broad; pedicels absent or to 5 mm long; seeds brownish, angulate, 1.2-1.4 mm long, ca. 0.8 mm broad, pitted." [1]


It is native to all of North America east of the Rocky Mountains, however, can be found in some areas west of the Rockies.[2]



In the Coastal Plain in Florida and Georgia, O. laciniata occurs in shrub bogs, pine flatwoods, and pine savannas. It is observed to be a ruderal species and has been found in disturbed areas such as sandy vacant lots, moist roadsides, fallow fields, and railroad beds. Soil types include sandy loam, loam, and loamy sand. Associated species include Drosera, Calopogon, Briza, and Cerastium. [3] It is a common weed found in soybean, corn, and cotton crops in the southeastern U.S.. [4] It has become an invasive species in central and south America, Europe, Africa and Australia.[5]


O. laciniata has been observed flowering January through July with peak inflorescence in April and fruiting January through June.[3][6] Flowers typically bloom at night.[7]

Seed dispersal

Fruits are dehiscent.[5]

Seed bank and germination

Seeds can remain viable in the soil for decades.[8]

Fire ecology

It has been observed growing in annually burned pine savannas. [3]


The following Hymenoptera families and species were observed visiting flowers of Oenothera laciniata at Archbold Biological Station: [9]

Vespidae: Polistes dorsalis hunteri

Use by animals

Seeds are eaten by bobwhite quail, morning doves, and American gold finches. Cottontail rabbits and white-tailed deer browse on the foliage.[7]

Diseases and parasites

It is a host for clouded and tarnished plant bugs that are common pests of cotton.[10]

Conservation and management

It is a noxious weed in soybean, cotton, and corn crops in the southeastern U.S.. [4] In a reduced-tillage system it may be difficult to control when timely applications are not made. [11] This species' small size and slow growth make February and early March herbicide applications most effective. [12]

Cultivation and restoration

Historically, it was used by Cherokee Indians as a potherb and to make body wash.[13]

Photo Gallery

References and notes

Guy, C.B. 1995. Preplant weed management in Arkansas no-till and stale seedbed cotton. Pages 86-89 in M.R. McClelland, T.D. Valco, and R.E. Frans. Edx. Conservation Tillage Systems for Cotton, Fayetteville, AR. Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station Special Report. 160.
  1. 1.0 1.1 Radford, Albert E., Harry E. Ahles, and C. Ritchie Bell. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. 1964, 1968. The University of North Carolina Press. 750-2. Print.
  2. [[1]] Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Accessed: February 12, 2016
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: http://herbarium.bio.fsu.edu. Last accessed: October 2015. Collectors: Miguel Altieri, Loran C. Anderson, Robert Blaisdell, K. Craddock Burks, Andre F. Clewell, George R. Cooley, A.H. Curtiss, Suellen Folensbee, Robert K. Godfrey, M. Knott, R. Komarek, Robert Kral, Richard S. Mitchell, Joseph Monachino, J.B. Nelson, Gwynn Ramsey, Cecil R. Slaughter, Bian Tan, L.B. Trott. States and Counties: Florida: Alachua, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Franklin, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Okaloosa, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Taylor, Wakulla. Georgia: Grady, Seminole. Compiled by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Webster, Theodore M. 2004. Weed survey-southern states: broadleaf crops subsection. South. Weed Sci Soc. 58: 291-306
  5. 5.0 5.1 [[2]] Accessed February 10, 2016
  6. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. www.gilnelson.com/PanFlora/ Accessed: 12 DEC 2016
  7. 7.0 7.1 [[3]] Illinois Wildflowers. Accessed: February 12, 2016
  8. [[4]] University of Tennessee Extension. Accessed: February 12, 2016
  9. Deyrup, M.A. and N.D. 2015. Database of observations of Hymenoptera visitations to flowers of plants on Archbold Biological Station, Florida, USA.
  10. [[5]] University of Tennessee Extension
  11. Fairbanks, Douglans, E., D.B. Reynolds, J.I. Griffin, P.R. Vidrine, and D.I. Jordan. 1995. Preplant weed control with Gramoxone Extra and Roundup D-Pak mixed with Harmony Extra. Pages 90-93 in M.R. McClelland, T.D. Valco and R.E. Frans. Eds. Conservation-Tillage Systems for Cotton. Fayetteville, AR: Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station Special Report. 160.
  12. Clewis, S. B., D. L. Jordan, et al. (2007). "Influence of Environmental Factors on Cutleaf Eveningprimrose (Oenothera laciniata) Germination, Emergence, Development, Vegetative Growth, and Control." Weed Science 55(3): 264-272.
  13. [[6]] University of Florida IFAS Extension Accessed: February 12, 2016