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Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Oenothera albicaulis - whitest evening primrose

Synonyms: Anogra albicaulis, Oenothera ctenophylla
Other Common Names: white-stem evening-primrose, pale evening-primrose, prairie evening primrose, halfshrub sundrop
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Onagraceae

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Basal leaves
Max Licher @
Max Licher @
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Annual
General Desc: Roundish gray-green plant with showy white flowers. Flowers can fade to pale pink as they age.
Identification notes: Hypanthium tube (cup-shaped extension of floral parts) without long hairs in the throat; petals 1/2 to 1-1/2 inches long. Flowers white; buds nodding. Seeds in 2 rows in each cell, with shallow pits in regular rows.
Height: 1 to 1-1/2 feet


Habitat Description: Dry, grassy, sandy or disturbed areas.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 2500 - 7500 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: White     Shape: Regular not in clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Mar - Aug
Description: Flowers are made up of four white, heart-shaped petals, to 1-1/2 inches wide. Flowers open near sunset and remain open for several days. The petals are white when fresh and the stamens are of equal length. Flowers arise individually from upper leaf axils.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Grayish-green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Pinnatifid     Leaf Margin: Lobed     Leaf Attachment: Basal and alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: The basal leaves grow to 2 inches in length with variable shapes and may have smooth or lobed edges. The leaves growing from the stems are long and thin. The hairs on the stems give a whitish appearance.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Yellowish-brown   
Fruit Type: Capsule
Fruit Notes: The fruits are cylindrical capsules containing many seeds.
Seed Notes: Seeds ellipsoid, yellowish-brown, pitted, in 2 rows in each compartment.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 7.0  
Last Updated: May 10, 2017  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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