Oenothera simulans

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Oenothera simulans
Gaura angustifolia Gil.jpg
Photo taken by Gil Nelson
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Myrtales
Family: Onagraceae
Genus: Oenothera
Species: O. simulans
Binomial name
Oenothera simulans
GAUR ANGU dist.jpg
Natural range of Oenothera simulans from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: southeastern gaura, southern bee-blossom[1]

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Gaura angustifolia Michaux[1]

Varieties: Gaura angustifolia var. angustifolia[1]


Observed to be an abundant weedy species in roadside sods.[2]

"Usually coarse, branched annuals or perennials. Leaves mostly alternate. Inflorescence terminal, spike-like with or without axillary branches from upper leaves or bracts. Petals white to pink; stigmas 3-4 lobed. Fruit woody, indehiscent."[3]

"Plant to 2m tall, stem strigose. Leaves narrowly elliptic or lanceolate, strigillose to glabrous, to 8 cm long and 1 cm wide, reduced upward, frequently fascicled, acute, remotely denticulate or serrulate, the basal sinuate; sessile. Spikes usually branched, main branch to 3 dm long, strigose; bracteoles caduceus. Sepals 3.5-6 mm long; petals 2.5-3 mm long; anthers 1.2-1.5 mm long; styles exserted ca. 5.5 mm. fruits acutely 3-4 angled, sides concave, canescent, ovoid, 6-8 mm long, 2-3 mm broad; pedicels 1-2 mm long."[3]


O. simulans is endemic to the Coastal Plain, ranging from eastern North Carolina to southern Florida, then west to eastern Texas.[1]



This species can be found in marshy depressions surrounded by live oak hammocks, pine-oak woodlands, grass and succulent cover, beach hammocks, longleaf pine forests, old fields, along oak scrub edges, and bordering salt marshes.[2] O. simulans has been observed to grow in moist loamy, loose, and silty sands in open areas.[2] This species is "one of the most aggressive pioneers in disturbed areas" such as plowed fire lanes, along roadsides, vacant lots, clear cut pinewoods, and along fence rows.[2] Associated species includes Pinus, Quercus, Papaya, Forestiera, Bumelia, Eugenia, Piscidia, Agave, Yucca, Juniperus, Sabal, Bumelia lanuginosa, Crateagus floridana, Pinus elliottii, Myrica cerifera, Pinus palustris, and Conzya.[2]


This species flowers from May through September.[1]

Fire ecology

This species has been found in areas of open burned pine-oak woodlands.[2] Populations of Oenothera simulans have been known to persist through repeated annual burning.[4]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Evening-Primroses can be used as a potherb for their asparagus-like quality of greens, and Native Americans would use the pith to make soup. In England, there was a problem of using the leaves as a tea filler.[5]

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Weakley, A.S. 2020. Flora of the Southeastern United States. Edition of 20 October 2020. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: http://herbarium.bio.fsu.edu. Last accessed: June 2014. Collectors: Robert K. Godfrey, Loran C. Anderson, Robert Kral, Gwynn W. Ramsey, Richard S. Mitchell, Cecil R Slaughter, Marc Minno, Mary Atkinson, O. Lakela, R. W. Long, Dorothy Laker, Andre F. Clewell, Robert Blaisdell, Jane Brockmann, Sidney McDaniel, D. B. Ward, Robert J Lemaire, Ira L. Wiggins, Dorothy B. W D. B. Creager,iggins, Elmer C. Prichard, George R. Cooley, Carroll E. Wood, Jr., Kenneth A. Wilson, Bian Tan, L. Baltzell, S. W. Leonard, R. Komarek, Leon Neel, R. F. Doren, and Annie Schmidt. States and Counties: Florida: Alachua, Bradford, Brevard, Citrus, Columbia, Duval, Franklin, Gadsden,Hamilton, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Indian River, Jackson, Lake, Lee, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Monroe, Orange, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St Johns, Sumter, Taylor, Union, Volusia, and Wakulla. Georgia: Thomas. Texas: Hardin.
  3. 3.0 3.1 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. 754-6. Print.
  4. Platt, W.J., R. Carter, G. Nelson, W. Baker, S. Hermann, J. Kane, L. Anderson, M. Smith, K. Robertson. 2021. Unpublished species list of Wade Tract old-growth longleaf pine savanna, Thomasville, Georgia.
  5. Fernald, et al. 1958. Edible Plants of Eastern North America. Harper and Row Publishers, New York.